Deal Statistics Quarterly, Q4 2005
In this issue, we present another installment of our quarterly review of dealmaking-for October-December 2005. 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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Johnson & Johnson, whose LifeScan Inc. division is number one in the $6 billion glucose monitoring industry, acquired Animas, which after Medtronic MiniMed, is the number two player in the insulin pump market. J&J gets not only a leading insulin pump business, but also technology that lends itself to the future goals of all diabetes companies; the development of an artificial pancreas, or at least, the ability to automatically deliver insulin in response to automated continuous blood glucose measurements.
The device industry was robust in 2005. Share prices remain strong for the most part--some orthopedics and cardiovascular companies struggled, but for the most part device stock indices continue strong--and the IPO window for start-ups remains open. New technology is flowing and so are venture dollars. Certainly, the device industry has had few instances of the kinds of bad news that Big Pharma and biotechs have struggled with: investor frustration, high-profile pipeline problems, and general industry struggles to find a viable long-term strategy, with a couple of exceptions. The battle for Guidant was widely-reported precisely because Guidant ran into problems with its ICD line, which caused Johnson & Johnson to hesitate and opened the door for a rival bid from Boston Scientific. Similarly, conflict of interest stories were featured in several general business publications, all with a decidedly negative spin. We don't share the view that conflict of interest is a real problem-just the opposite: physician involvement in device development is the lifeblood of the industry.
Amgen is using its cash to buy near-term products-the fundamental reason behind its purchase of Abgenix. Indeed, the irony to this transaction is that while the promise of genomics generated the money Abgenix needed to stay alive, the product that ultimately made Abgenix's fortune is an antibody to an entirely pre-genomic target, the fourth in its target class to make it to market, and the second antibody to do so.