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Pharmaceutical/Biotechnology Deal Statistics Quarterly, Q2 2009

Executive Summary

Highlights from the Q2 2009 review of pharmaceutical and biotechnology dealmaking: In biopharma financing, the FOPO had a comeback bringing in $773 million with 11 transactions--a deal volume the public markets haven't achieved since Q1 2008. Cephalon and Dendreon led the pack, each with follow-on offerings exceeding the $100 million mark. There weren't the mega Big Pharma mergers done in previous months, however, there was a clear interest in generics as witnessed by Sanofi-Aventis' buyouts of two generics firms, and Watson and Novartis also getting in on the action, each through $1 billion+ acquisitions in this arena as well. As far as alliances were concerned, the top spot belongs to GlobeImmune, which granted Celgene exclusive worldwide rights to its {Targomen} cancer programs (including two clinical-stage candidates) in exchange for a potential $540 million pay day.Q2 also saw many companies shifting therapeutic focus to in-license products and candidates new to them in order to revive pipelines and beef up portfolios.

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Why Doesn't Pharma Get Smaller?

Pharmas continue to diversify into lower margin businesses because CEOs and boards are betting on different requirements from a new system of health care delivery. They also figure their jobs will be safer. The choices: Is the likeliest avenue to growth through successful R&D, or through positioning appropriate for future health care delivery and payment systems? Bristol-Myers and Amgen have chosen the former - both because each is too small to diversify and because each believes it has a reasonable track record in innovation. Novartis and most other large pharmas want to take both roads at once--and are either dramatically expanding to enable product bundling or to give themselves enough time to prepare for what the health care system demands. Either way, the wild card of health care reform is making business strategy something of a crap shoot for companies both large and small.

Emerging Pharma Markets: Adapt, Diversify, and Persist

Emerging global markets are a hot topic in pharmaceutical circles these days, but until recently, most Westerners viewed them as a homogenous cluster. Few executives at corporate headquarters drew distinctions among the various countries, let alone the domestic and international players in those markets. As big pharma bumps up against growth constraints in its traditional markets, however, interest in the "rest of the world" is perking up. The largest pharmaceutical companies are all looking at the same promising half dozen or so emerging countries, but they are taking radically different approaches to tackling them and are moving at different paces.

Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Stabilize Their Bases

The related deals between Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. announced in April appear to be a win for both sides. They extend and update a highly successful 10-year-old collaboration, essentially tweaking the original agreement's terms in consideration of each partner's current needs. At the same time, they recognize that the key product involved, the antipsychotic medication Abilify, is reaching maturity.

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