Where Have All the Big Pharma Deals Gone?

The Pharmaceutical sector has experienced a dearth of big deals so far this year. In Q1:16, 40 transactions with pharmaceutical targets were announced, for a total of $46.2 billion. In the first quarter of 2017 (through March 28), only 24 deals (-40%) for pharmaceutical targets have been announced, with a combined total of $10.1 billion (-78%). One factor behind the drop in deals is obvious. The sector came under legislative and consumer scrutiny during the presidential election in 2016, as candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump each decried high prices charged by drug manufacturers, and each vowed to do something about it once elected. President Trump repeated his campaign promise to... Read More »

AstraZeneca Sheds Assets After its Trial Failure

AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) has been on the receiving end of three different purchases in the first five days of October, selling licenses to three of its non-core assets for a combined upfront payment of $450 million. Its selling spree occurred in tandem with the announced trial failure of its blood thinner Brilinta (ticagrelor), which failed to show any benefit over the standard medication for the treatment of peripheral artery disease (PAD). According to Reuters, the trial failure forced the company to abandon a $3.5 billion-a-year sales target for the drug by 2023. On October 3rd, AstraZeneca’s biologics arm, MedImmune, agreed to license the worldwide rights to Allergan plc (NYSE:... Read More »

Big Pharma Pays Big for Biotech Pipelines

The pharmaceutical industry has largely given up on in-house research and development, saying that the R&D timeline is too costly, long and uncertain to fund with shareholders’ money. The industry has gone from bolt-on acquisitions of smaller companies with marketed products to battling it out for clinical-stage drug candidates. What’s surprised some industry observers is that these acquirers are now targeting early-stage and even pre-clinical drug candidates, to boost their own production pipelines, but as a way to stymie the competition, too. Pharmaceutical mergers and acquisitions hit a peak in 2014, with 188 deals (up 25% year-over-year) and $213.3 billion in spending (up 220%... Read More »

Pfizer Buys Medivation and More

Forget those early- to mid-stage clinical candidates. Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) jumped the line with its $13.5 billion deal for oncology drug maker Medivation Inc. (NASDAQ: MDVN). The target’s primary product is XTANDI® (enzalutamide), an androgen receptor inhibitor, the leading novel hormone therapy for the treatment of prostate cancer. Pfizer will pay $81.50 per share in existing cash, a 21% premium to Medivation’s closing stock price on Friday, August 19, 2016. This deal ends months of bidding for Medivation, which began in April with Sanofi SA’s $52.50 per share (about $9 billion) offer. Medivation turned down the overture, and Sanofi eventually raised its bid to $58.50... Read More »

Aspen Buys Rights to Anesthesia Portfolio

This isn’t a sleepy deal. AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) sold the ex-U.S. rights to its portfolio of seven established anesthesia medicines to Aspen Global Incorporated. Aspen Global is the holding company for Aspen Group’s (OTCBB: ASPU) international business that manages and maintains intellectual property rights, and regulatory and commercial strategies of a portfolio of specialist and branded products. The drugs are Diprivan (general anaesthesia), EMLA (topical anesthetic) and five local anesthesias (Xylocaine, Xylocard/Syloproct, Maracine, Naropin, Carbocaine and Citanest). Under terms of the agreement, AGI will acquire the commercialization rights, outside the United States, to... Read More »