Sector News

Biogen poaches Pfizer dealmaker Dan Karp for stepped-up M&A push

May 31, 2018
Life sciences

Want to get serious about business development? Take a page from Pfizer’s playbook—and that’s exactly what Biogen is doing.

On Thursday, the big biotech said it had brought on Pfizer veteran Dan Karp as its EVP of corporate development, ending his stint as the pharma giant’s VP of worldwide business development and head of R&D business development. For Biogen, Karp will lead a newly minted “corporate development function,” spanning business development and corporate strategy, the company said.

Pfizer, never one to shy away from a transaction and famous for its willingness to jump into a megamerger, sees plenty of deal activity, which is just what Biogen’s seeking. The company touted Karp’s “strong track record of success leading licensing and M&A transactions,” while CEO Michel Vounatsos—to whom Karp will directly report—praised the “solid experience” that will “serve him well in this exciting position as we aim to further build our pipeline and portfolio.”

Biogen is looking for new revenue streams as competition to its multiple sclerosis portfolio heats up. Last year, Roche piled on the pressure with the approval of blockbuster-to-be Ocrevus, and forthcoming generic versions of Gilenya—a Novartis rival to Biogen’s oral star Tecfidera—will make matters worse next year.

Last April, the company shelled out $300 million upfront and up to $410 million in milestones to gain access to a Bristol-Myers Squibb’s progressive supranuclear palsy and Alzheimer’s candidate, a move R&D head Michael Ehlers called “just the beginning of a set of very rigorous but highly active deals.”

And since then, it’s struck a series of other deals, including buys of Remedy’s phase 3 stroke drug and Karyopharm’s neurology and inflammation candidate, as well as a $1 billion pact on discovery-stage R&D with Ionis. Earlier this year, rumors also listed Biogen as a potential buyer for activist-pressured Acorda, though so far no deal has taken place.

By Carly Helfand

Source: Fierce Pharma

comments closed

Related News

September 25, 2022

Rise of the machines: Novo Nordisk pledges $200M to create first quantum computer for life sciences

Life sciences

Big Pharma has long seen the potential for AI and machine learning to accelerate drug development. But Novo Nordisk is going a step further by channeling $200 million toward the creation of a computer that will outrun anything in existence.

September 25, 2022

Mount Sinai AI uncovers new brain analysis method to predict dementia, Alzheimer’s disease

Life sciences

Current methods for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease rely on a complex combination of self- and caregiver-reported symptoms, a physical examination and either a PET scan or a spinal tap to look for evidence of amyloid plaque build-ups in the brain. But a new artificial intelligence-based method may make the diagnostic process a much more objective one.

September 25, 2022

New AstraZeneca-backed report finds big money behind diverse owners and entrepreneurs in Europe

Life sciences

There is lots of talk about diversity and inclusion in business, including in pharma and medtech. A new report by the Open Political Economy Network (OPEN), a think tank focusing on migration and diversity, released its “Minority Businesses Matter: Europe” report highlighting the successes and challenges of ethnic minority-owned businesses in Europe.