Deal Statistics Quarterly, Q3 2006
In this issue, we present another installment of our quarterly review of dealmaking-for July-Spetember 2006. Our data comes from Windhover's Strategic Intelligence Systems, which covers deal activity within the pharmaceutical/biotechnology, medical device, and in vitro diagnostics industries.
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The year 2006 may best be remembered for the handful of high-profile companies that struggled, but for all of the challenges that a few medical device companies faced individually, it's hard not to see 2006 as anything other than a robust year for the industry as a whole. It was also a year of impressive rebounds for many other device companies that had faced tough times.
An extraordinary series of high-value IND-stage deals could help to solve what has always been the intractable problem for biotechs: how to fund late-stage product development and simultaneously re-fill the early-stage pipeline. Still, it will be the rare biotech that can pull off this strategy--which requires INDs in the hottest areas of pharmaceutical development.
Merck KGAA surprised observers when it announced the €10.6 billion takeover of Europe's biggest biotech, Serono. There was more consolidation to come. That same day, the Danish pharmaceutical group Nycomed Group said it would acquire Altana Pharma for about €4.5 billion in cash. Only a couple days later, UCB SA entered the fray with the acquisition of Schwarz Pharma AG for €4.2 billion in cash and stock. Can these bulked up companies present serious competition for Big Pharma on the licensing front?