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New year rings in return to big deals as M&A engine fires up


Marie Powers
BioWorld, Atlanta, USA

The analysis of biopharma dealmaking trends by Clarivate Analytics at last year’s J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference (JPM) suggested the industry would continue to evolve rapidly as targeted therapies reshuffled the oncology space and other broad therapeutic areas – especially neuroscience and anti-infectives – faced clinical and financial headwinds.

The challenge going forward, concluded Laura Vitez, senior deals analyst with Cortellis, and Jamie Munro, global practice leader, portfolio and licensing, both of Clarivate Analytics, was to generate value from deals in the face of rising costs for drug development, pushback on pricing and a shift in focus from M&A to other types of business development (BD).

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) Co.’s $74 billion bid for Celgene Corp. – which, if it closes, will become the largest M&A in biopharma history – “made for a fascinating opening” to JPM19, Munro said, especially given Celgene’s historic placemark as the initial presenting company in the Grand Ballroom of the Westin St. Francis Hotel. Those duties were shared this year during a fireside chat by Giovanni Caforio, BMS chair and CEO, and Mark All ...

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