Deal Statistics Quarterly, Q4 2003
In this issue, we present another installment of our quarterly review of dealmaking-for October-December 2003. Our data comes from Windhover's Strategic Transactions Database, which covers deal activity within the pharmaceutical/biotechnology, medical device, and in vitro diagnostics industries.
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Applied Molecular Evolution is a company seemingly in the right place, with the right technology, at the right time--a beneficiary of Big Pharma's current search for ways to short-cut the discovery process. In the last three months, AME received initial product development milestones from two deals and filed an IND on its own lead product candidate, an improved version of Remicade. Those events validated its technology for optimizing proteins-enough so that partner Eli Lilly decided to buy the firm outright.
For the second time since the summer, a Top-Ten pharma company with an established oncology franchise has enlisted the aid of a biotech to give it a leg up in the development and manufacturing of therapeutic antibodies. In July, it was Aventis. Now, AstraZeneca is teaming up with human antibody producer Abgenix.
GE Medical's pending $9.5 billion acquisition of Amersham PLC, while cast in terms of the company's commitment to accelerate progress in personalized medicine, is fundamentally a hard-headed numbers play aimed at maintaining momentum of GE's gargantuan $10 billion medical systems business unit. GE needs healthy businesses oriented towards growing markets to maintain its momentum. And Amersham, with its stable, predictable contrast agent and protein separations businesses fits well into the portfolio. Meanwhile, the personalized medicine play holds mid-to-long term promise.