Cubist Maintains Growth Streak, As Investors Fear Generic Threat, Thin Pipeline

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mid-2005. Wall Street analysts have cited the potential approval of a generic version of daptomycin, competition from new antibiotics such as South San Francisco-based Theravance’s telavancin, and Cubist’s lack of a late-stage product candidate in its pipeline, as reasons to be concerned about the company’s future.

“I think it’s generally recognized by everybody that the key thing for Cubist is to continue to build the pipeline and find a follow on to Cubicin. That’s relevant whether or not Teva is successful,” says Alan Carr, a biotech analyst for the investment bank Needham & Company in New York. Carr, who is a bit more optimistic about Cubist’s prospects than some of his fellow analysts, has a “buy” rating for the company’s stock.

Bonney said that building the company’s pipeline, including staying in the market for acquisitions that would give the company a new product to bring to market, is one of his top three priorities. However, he said that he isn’t willing to spend too much to acquire new products, especially at the expense of his other big priorities, which are to continue boosting daptomycin sales and to increase the company’s operating profits.

Massachusetts officials are also rooting for Cubist to continue growing in the state. As part of state’s 10-year plan to invest about $1 billion to boost its life sciences industry, Cubist garnered $1.74 million in tax incentives last year tied to its commitment to add jobs in the commonwealth. Cubist employed 362 people in Lexington and 227 more workers outside of the town as of late last month, company spokesman Francis McLoughlin says. He noted that the firm has budgeted for 87 new hires in 2010.

The company is also planning an 110,000-square-foot expansion to its facilities in Lexington. There are still some permitting requirements before construction begins, McLoughlin says, but the project could break ground before the end of this year.

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