Device/Diagnostics Quarterly Deal-Making Statistics, Q4 2017
A look at the financing, M&A and alliance activity in October–December 2017
Device fundraising during the fourth quarter totaled $2.6 billion, making it the strongest quarter of the year. Q4 M&A activity reached $3.9 billion, higher than Q3's $3.4 billion, but still one of the lowest quarters of the year. Both fourth quarter diagnostics financings and M&As hit an all-year low of $622 million, and $2.8 million, respectively.
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The conventional wisdom in the medtech industry is to pursue the “razor-razor blade” business model, as each placement of capital equipment generates a lucrative annuity of recurring revenues from disposables. The corollary to this conventional wisdom is that so-called “big iron” is to be avoided as, in sharp contrast, it suffers from greater early cash requirements and longer sales cycles that create difficulties forecasting quarterly revenues, and provides no annuities. But that view is no longer the only one that counts, Health Advances CEO Mark Speers argues.
The height of the summer saw eight $1bn plus deals penned, including those by Pfizer and Roche.
Three $1B+ alliances were penned in July. Topping the list was a potential $2M deal between Skyhawk Therapeutics and Sanofi for the development of novel small molecules that modulate RNA splicing for challenging oncology and immunology targets. Skyhawk will grant Sanofi exclusive worldwide intellectual property rights to candidates discovered and developed under the collaboration. Skyhawk receives $54M up front and is also eligible to receive over $2B in potential milestone payments, as well as potential royalties on future sales. In the top July M&A by deal value, SD Biosensor and a consortium formed with private equity firm SJL Partners agreed to acquire US-based in vitro diagnostics company Meridian Bioscience in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $1.53B. Founded in 1976, Meridian is a fully integrated life science company that manufactures, markets, and distributes a broad range of diagnostic test kits, purified reagents, and biopharmaceutical enabling technologies. The company has gained expertise through numerous acquisitions over the years including point-of-care testing firm Magellan Biosciences, GenePOC (develops POC molecular diagnostics for infectious diseases), and gastrointestinal diagnostics maker Exalenz Bioscience. Financing reached $3.97bn in biopharma, $851m in device, and $318m in diagnostics.