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September 22, 2018

‘Cancer drugs, gene-editing tech to lead biotech M&As’

PUBLISHED : February 13, 2018 - 15:45

UPDATED : February 13, 2018 - 17:59

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[THE INVESTOR] Biotech mergers and acquisitions are expected to remain robust throughout 2018 as large pharma firms seek to strengthen their oncology and rare disease drug pipeline, according to data and analytics company GlobalData on Feb. 13.

“With the surge in M&As observed in January 2018, this trend is expected to continue throughout the year. As a result of the major surge in growth of the biotech industry through improved earnings, economic growth, and recent deal activity, the sector is poised to reach an all-time record high,” said Ashwin Oberoi, health care analyst at GlobalData. 




In January, French health care giant Sanofi announced it would acquire Belgium-based biopharmaceutical firm Ablynx for US$4.8 billion and US hemophilia specialist Bioverativ for US$11.6 billion. In the same month, US biotech firm Celgene completed buyouts of Seattle-based blood cancer drug developer Juno Therapeutics for about US$9 billion and another cancer therapy developer Impact Biomedicines for US$7 billion. The total acquisitions by the two firms alone reached a whopping US$26 billion.

GlobalData said other large companies like Merck, Pfizer and Amgen are also likely to seek aggressive M&As this year as they have huge off-shore cash reserves and are eager to beef up their mid-late stage pipelines.

“Companies that remain as likely targets generally include those with therapies that have recently gained approval or are likely to gain approval within high-impact disease areas. Generally, interest is strong in companies that focus on oncology, rare diseases, and gene-editing technologies,” Oberoi added.

By Park Han-na (hnpark@heraldcorp.com)  

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