Sector News

Without tax reform, pharma M&A's still sluggish—but biotech's red hot

October 23, 2017
Life sciences

Back when the year began, the prospect of U.S. tax reform had pharma companies salivating for some M&A action. But with that reform still absent, drugmakers have put on the brakes instead.

Dealmaking in 2017 has so far seen a slowdown, tallying $207.6 billion across 1,040 deals in the pharma, medical and biotech sector, a new Mergermarket report (PDF) said. That’s a 9.9% dip in value and 106 fewer transactions compared with the same period last year.

The industry’s sluggish deal pace was particularly apparent last quarter; just $42.9 billion worth of deals came to fruition, the lowest quarterly value since the same period in 2014 and its $46.3 billion. And just one deal—Gilead’s $10.2 billion Kite buyout agreement, which will hand the Big Biotech newly approved CAR-T medication Yescarta—generated nearly 35% of the quarter’s dealmaking haul.

Make no mistake: It’s pharma that’s dragging down the overall category. Biotech, in fact, is red hot, partly in thanks to the Gilead deal. Overall, the biotech field has already surpassed all annual totals that Mergermarket had on file, and its records date back to 2001.

That’s not to say pharma M&A can’t turn around—especially if tax reform shows up. Deal enthusiast Pfizer, for one, has listed uncertainty around tax reform as a reason to sit tight for now. Some analysts have suggested it may have its eye on Bristol-Myers Squibb, though, and that company would certainly cost a pretty penny.

Pfizer’s also potentially looking to sell off its consumer health unit, and analysts have suggested that Endo turn to the M&A arena to ease its struggles. Alvogen’s private equity owners have also held talks with Shanghai Pharmaceuticals that could lead to a $4 billion sale.

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.