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Pharma landscape shifts as J&J, Sanofi, Lilly and Takeda all drive significant Q1 deals

Cormac Sheridan 
BioWorld Staff Writer, Dublin, Ireland

Randy Osborne
BioWorld Staff Writer, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.

Michael Fitzhugh
BioWorld Staff Writer, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.


As the industry turned the corner into 2017, biopharma deal-making activity continued its rapid pace. We focused on these four key deals, among many others, in Q1: Johnson & Johnson’s megadeal to acquire Actelion Ltd.; Sanofi SA’s deal with AstraZeneca plc for its MedImmune RSV antibody franchise; Eli Lilly and Co.’s nearly $1B deal for CoLucid Pharmaceuticals; and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Inc.’s T cell deal with Maverick Therapeutics Inc., which included an option to buy.


It’s all over and it’s all about to begin. After a stop-start series of negotiations, Johnson & Johnson and Actelion agreed in late January to terms on a $30 billion takeover deal, under which J&J will pay $280 cash per Actelion share to acquire its slate of commercial products and two late-stage clinical development assets, while Actelion’s shareholders will retain ownership of the company’s drug discovery and early clinical development operations in a spin-off firm that was provisionally dubbed R&DNewco.

Immediately before the takeover deal is finalized in the second quarter, the new firm will be spun out with CHF1 billion (US$998,992 million) cash, and its shares will be listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange (SIX) in Zurich. Actelion is based in Allschwill, Switzerland. Actelion CEO and co-founder Jean-Paul Clozel and its chairman, Jean Pierre Garnier, will pl ...

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