Pharmaceutical Deals Celebrate the New Year

The Pharmaceutical sector hasn’t wasted any time getting busy in the New Year. As of January 18, 2017, 10 pharma deals have been announced, with disclosed prices totaling $7.18 billion. Of course, the annual JP Morgan Healthcare Summit, held this year from January 9 to January 13, helped to boost the announcements.

The largest deal so far was Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.’s (OTCQB: TKPYY) $4.67 billion ($24.00 per share) takeover of ARIAD Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ARIA). ARIAD is an oncology company that discovers, develops and commercializes drugs for patients with rare cancers. A large motivator for the deal was to gain access to Iclusig® (ponatinib), a globally commercialized product, and brigatinib, a commercialized investigational therapy with peak annual sales potential of over $1 billion. The deal expands Takeda’s global oncology portfolio and pipeline by expanding into solid tumors, while also solidifying its position in hematology.

Two other pharma deals this month fell just under the $1 billion price tag. The first was privately-held, China-based investment firm, Sanpower Group Co., Ltd.’s acquisition of Seattle-based Dendreon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (NYSE: VRX). Dendreon’s only commercialized product is Provene, an autologous cellular immunotherapy (vaccine) for prostate cancer treatment, approved by the FDA in April 2010. The sale marks Valeant’s exist from the urological oncology business, and the purchase price was $819.9 million.

Next was Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) $960 million ($46.50 per share) purchase of CoLucid Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCD). CoLucid is developing an oral 5-HT1F agonist (lasmiditan) for the acute treatment of migraines. CoLucid has completed the first of two pivotal Phase 3 trials. Lasmiditan is an important addition to Lilly’s emerging pain management pipeline.

Although the most expensive deals were all-out purchases of a company, five of these 10 January deals involved the purchase of rights or licenses to brand name drugs or pharmaceutical assets, which is not surprising considering more than 60% of pharma M&A in 2016 were deals of this nature.



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