Pharmaceutical/Biotechnology Deal Statistics Quarterly, Q2 2008
Highlights from the Q2 2008 review of pharmaceutical and biotechnology dealmaking: Despite the dearth in biopharmaceutical financings in the quarter (total money raised was just $2 billion) acquisitions thrived with total M&A volume of $11.8 billion. And biopharma alliance activity reached $2.7 billion in potential deal value during 2008's second quarter with only a handful more deals than the first quarter, but a 43% increase in dollar volume.
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Pathway-oriented platforms are rare, and dealmaking around them can be complicated: partner too early or for too little and you risk giving away the store. But Sirtris pulled it off, via M&A, when GSK tendered a whopping $720 million for it in April. The deal is another example of Pharma's interest in platform biotechs and its hunger for innovation. But the unique nature of Sirtris's platform -- broad, but around a single set of biological targets -- makes it more one-off than trend-setting.
The industry's genericization problem will seriously constrain Big Pharma's ability to pay for late-stage development on all its products. One potential solution is being developed by Pfizer, whose top R&D execs see out-partnering as a way to free up resources for key programs and to expand R&D capacity. In this interview with R&D boss Martin Mackay, Mackay reports that Pfizer is building up a war-chest of out-licensing and partnering candidates, pursuing a wide variety of transactions--including project financing, straight out-licensing and spinoffs. But the extent of Pfizer's long-term commitment to out-partnering still isn't clear.