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Deals in Depth: December 2008

Executive Summary

December 2008 dealmaking highlights: after losing GSK as a partner for XL184 and XL281, Exelixis ended up licensing the oncology compounds to BMS in the biggest alliance of December at a pre-commercial value of $850 million. J&J again topped the M&A list with its takeover of aesthetic devices company Mentor for $1.1 billion, but St. Jude Medical should get honorary mentioning as it made two big acquisitions--Radi and MediGuide--to add to its cardiovascular products. Financing in biopharma and device firms ended 2008 on a weak note, low in terms of both volume of deals and dollars raised. All December deals were private placements, with those done by public Rx companies slightly edging out the VC financing with 41% of the total. Device fund-raising, slightly up from last month to $113 million, saw the bulk of the money in early venture rounds.

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