Industry experts expect a continued uptick in deals valued between $2bn-$10bn this year as buyers look to add critical mass in areas like oncology, rare disease and cell and gene therapy. Divestitures to free up capital and narrow focus should continue too.
The US Nasdaq exchange has become the only option for ambitious UK and European biotechs.
In the latest instalment of our VC playbook series, In Vivo sits down with Roel Bulthuis, managing partner at INKEF Capital, to discuss the group’s approach to health care investing in Europe, the importance of funding a team not just a project and how life sciences venture capital is evolving with the emergence of health tech.
UK-centric investment firm Syncona’s model of “founding, building and funding” early-stage biotech companies – with a commitment to the longer term – hopes to help make Great Britain a cell and gene therapy powerhouse.
Latest From Deals
Derived from Strategic Transactions, Informa’s premium source for tracking life sciences deal activity, the Dealmaking column is a survey of recent health care transactions listed by relevant industry segment – In Vitro Diagnostics, Medical Devices, and Pharmaceuticals – and then categorized by type – Acquisition, Alliance, or Financing. This month’s column covers deals announced February 2020.
Device financing during 2019’s final quarter totaled $1.6bn, a substantial decrease from Q3’s $4.05bn. Merger and acquisition activity, almost doubled from the previous quarter reaching $6.1bn; Stryker’s 4.7bn takeover of Wright Medical was the only billion-dollar transaction. Financings by diagnostics/research players totaled $1.3bn (the lowest quarter of the year) and eight companies were acquired, five of which together were valued at $981m.
Nurix and Sanofi signed a $2.55bn deal using DELigase DNA-encoded libraries to targeted protein degradation therapies for the three targets. Lilly enhanced its immunology pipeline with the $1.1bn takeover of Dermina and its atopic dermatitis antibody lebrikizumab. Biopharma financing was slightly up, while device funding somewhat decreased.
Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb's market-dominating checkpoint inhibitors are competing to find the next combination therapy to treat more cancer patients, in more types of cancers. Recent failures and new regulatory pressure, however, may have a cooling effect, even as researchers come full circle with PD-l/PD-L1 and CTL-4 combinations. The race is also on to pull new combinations from emerging cell therapy and precision oncology drug candidates.
The biopharma sector is often accused of a being a slow-moving engine, but a look back over the last 20 years reveals that a lot has changed. In Vivo explores the history of high-impact M&A transactions in the industry between 1999 and 2019.
The consensus among investors is that medtech has been the best-performing part of health care for the past three to four years, and investment levels remain good. Seemingly all-encompassing of late has been companies’ preoccupation with digital strategies, but there is a lot more to this unique industry than just digital.
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