Guest post by Raveena Bhambra, Senior Analyst at Current Partnering
Would you believe that the busy pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry has already signed over 300 partnering deals between them this year?! That’s almost 10 deals a day since the start of the New Year and the pace doesn’t look as if it’s slowing down.
Three of these deals have been over the value of USD 1 billion; Amgen’s deal with Kite Pharma to develop Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cell immunotherapies was penned at USD 1.1 billion, Depomed entered a USD 1.05 billion deal to acquire the US rights to the NUCYNTA pain portfolio from Janssen Pharmaceuticals and, Mundipharma along with Purdue Pharmaceuticals both joined forces with Laboratorios Esteve to bring a line of pain products to the market in a deal that was worth USD 1 billion.
The big money wasn’t limited to just partnership deals either, the M&A space also saw some high value deals, notably the USD 5.2 billion acquisition of NPS Pharmaceuticals by Shire Pharmaceuticals, a deal that was first rumored to take place back in June 2014 but only completed this year. Shire Pharmaceuticals, that was previously a target for acquisition itself by Abbvie, quietly took over NPS pharmaceuticals and its healthy pipeline of lucrative orphan disease products in mid-January, a transaction that it seems has just nicely paid off for the Irish pharmaceutical company in these last couple of weeks with the recent approval of Natpara, a drug for a rare hormone disorder. Shire may have not finished there yet in terms of acquisitions, it gained USD 1.5 billion from Abbvie in the fallout out of the deal last year so may be looking for another company to supply it with some further pipeline candidates for 2015.
Another company that is sure to be splashing its cash very soon in what I imagine will be a number of acquisitions is Pfizer; after its unsuccessful attempt with British AstraZeneca last year the global giant is said to have USD 33 billion in the bank ready to invest. Pfizer has already snapped up Swiss Redvax this year, primarily for its promising Herpes vaccine that will boost its own presence in the vaccine arena, so perhaps another vaccine-maker could be next on the shopping list…. News just in as I write this: Pfizer has acquired Hospira….What did I say!