Biotechnology Gets the Usual January Boost

Biotechnology Gets the Usual January Boost

The Biotechnology sector roared to life in 2017, posting a record 209 transactions. That’s 20% higher than the 174 deals announced in 2016. The previous record for the sector was set in 2009, with 193 transactions announced in the space. Spending for those 209 deals in 2017 didn’t set new records, but did post an impressive $54.5 billion in disclosed prices. That’s 283% higher than the $18.6 billion recorded in all of 2016, but not close to the secctor’s annual spending record of $93.9 billion, set in 2008. Every January, the Biotechnology Showcase is held in San Francisco, concurrent with the J.P. Morgan Healthcare conference. And every January, this sector sees... Read More »

Sanofi Rationalizes Its Vaccine Portfolio

Early in July, Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) announced an acquisition and a divestment, both affecting its vaccine business. In a recent annual filing, Sanofi labelled its vaccine unit as an area of priority to sustain its leadership role. To that end, the company has expanded its influenza vaccine portfolio and shed its small pox vaccine business, including its related contract with the Center for Disease Control (CDC). In 2016, Sanofi generated $5.04 billion in net sales from its vaccine products. Its influenza vaccine unit was the second largest contributor to this total, accounting for $1.7 billion in net sales that year, a record year for Sanofi’s influenza campaign. Sanofi Pasteur, the business... Read More »

MCOs Make Deals to Combat High Drug Costs

The rising cost of prescription drugs was part of many candidates’ campaign platforms in the 2016 national elections. The topic has not gone away, and is certainly a factor in the dearth of Big Pharma deals in 2017.  Through June 15, M&A in the Pharma sector is down 43%, to 44 transactions, compared with the same period in 2016, which had 77 transactions. Spending is also down in for the first six months of 2017. Through June 15, acquirers announced $19.2 billion in committed financing, down 66% from the same period in 2016, when approximately $56.5 billion was spent. There are deals being done, regarding this issue, but most are not M&A. In fact, several managed care... Read More »

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 »

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 »