Deal of the Week: Celgene/Impact

Deal of the Week: Celgene/Impact

Biotechnology deals are off to a strong start in 2018, thanks to the Biotech Showcase 2018 held every year alongside the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. In the first two weeks, 16 transactions were made public. This year, the Showcase registration desk was just getting into full swing on Sunday, January 7, when Celgene Corp. (NASDAQ: CELG) announced its $1.1 billion acquisition of Impact Biomedicines, a privately held biotech based in San Diego. The draw is Impact’s lead product candidate, fedratinib, a highly selective JAK2 kinase inhibitor that is being evaluated for myelofibrosis and polycythemia vera. Fedratinib was evaluated in 877 patients across 18 clinical trials. In a... Read More »

Q1:17 Biotechnology Deals Keep Climbing

Biotechnology deal activity has climbed steadily over the past five quarters. The sector reached 62 transactions in Q1:17, an increase of 13% over the previous quarter and up 94% year-over-year. The total is 31% of the 203 deals announced in the previous 12 months. M&A in this sector will remain active for years to come, as pharmaceutical companies that have abandoned their own R&D turn to buying up smaller biotechs with promising clinical-stage compounds. The 21st Century Cures Act also benefits this sector, with its billions of dollars in financing for both the “Cancer Moonshot” and the BRAIN Initiative. In the first quarter, 20 of the 62 transactions involved the purchase of an... Read More »

JNJ Bolsters Its Pipeline with Actelion Acquisition

It took a while, but Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) finally bagged Swiss-based Actelion Ltd. (SIX: ATLN), Europe’s biggest biotech company. The company had been in play since August 2016, when J&J began negotiations, but eventually bowed out after offering $260 per share, or $28 billion. Sanofi S.A. (NYSE: SNY) moved in and by mid-December, Bloomberg reported, the two parties were discussing a price of $275 per share, valuing Actelion at $29.6 billion. For both suitors, a deal with Actelion would boost their aging pipelines. Actelion, which was formed in 1997 as a spin-out from Roche (SIX: RO), had developed a strong portfolio of drugs for pulmonary arterial hypertension, a... Read More »

Biotechnology Deals Will Surpass 2015’s Record

Deal volume in the Biotechnology sector is poised to surpass last year’s record-setting 160 transactions. With two weeks left in 2016, deal volume has reached 159 transactions. The activity in this sector shows no signs of abating, and will probably carry through the first half of 2017, at least. Big Pharma companies are driving the M&A activity, as they actively compete for promising drug candidates to bolster their aging pipelines. A case in point is a deal that hasn’t been announced yet, but that the industry is watching with interest. French pharma company Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) is reported to be deep into acquisition talks with Swiss biotech Actelion Ltd. (XETRA: ACT), and... Read More »

Kythera Biopharma Goes Bald

Kythera Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: KYTH), a clinical stage biopharma with a penchant for novel prescription products for the aesthetic medical market, entered into separate license agreements with Actellion Pharmceuticals Ltd. and the University of Pennsylvania last month. Actelion is selling the rights to setipiprant, a clinical-stage oral antagonist to the prostaglandin D2 receptor. Under the agreement with UPenn, Kythera acquired exclusive worldwide rights to certain patents covering the use of PGD2 receptor antagonists to treat hair loss. Not a very sexy-sounding way to look sexier, but it just might work. Read More »