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Merck KGaA and Artios penned a global three-year strategic research collaboration to discover and develop multiple precision oncology drugs. The deal could be worth close to $7bn for four-year-old Artios. AstraZeneca announced a definitive agreement to acquire public rare disease drug developer Alexion for approximately $39bn. This was 2020’s largest M&A. Financing reached $28bn in biopharma, $879m in device, and $2.4bn in diagnostics.
It is time for In Vivo's 13th annual Deals of the Year contest. We've selected 15 nominees in three categories – Top Alliance, Top Financing and Top M&A – and you get to pick the winners.
The COVID-19 pandemic is serving as a catalyst to draw attention to other destructive infectious diseases that continue to ravage communities across the world. This is to be welcomed, but we must also ask what we have learnt from our recent experiences that can be deployed to help accelerate approaches to fighting other, similarly devastating, established and emerging infectious diseases.
In the last 18 months, seven companies and four executives in the generic pharmaceuticals manufacturing sector were charged with antitrust violations, amassing penalties of over $426m. And this month, the Department of Justice Antitrust Division brought its first ever criminal charges for a conspiracy to lower wages to workers against the former owner of a physical therapist staffing company. With enforcement efforts ramping up – and COVID-19 adding additional scrutiny – health care companies will need a comprehensive antitrust compliance program to avoid enforcement actions.
Biogen and Sage Therapeutics penned a potential $3.1bn global collaboration for Sage’s zuranolone (SAGE-217) for major depressive disorder, postpartum depression and other psychiatric disorders, and SAGE-324 for essential tremor and other neurological disorders. In the month’s top M&A, Merck agreed to acquire privately held VelosBio for $2.75bn in cash. VelosBio is developing first-in-class cancer therapies targeting receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 1. Financing reached $12.8bn in biopharma, $2.9bn in device, and $2bn in diagnostics.
New options for the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDs in recent years have not erased lingering stigmas and misinformation about the disease, especially among younger black communities in the US. Advocates hope that greater awareness of “U=U,” or “undetectable equals untransmittable,” can help to address ongoing discrimination and disparities.
With the end of the Brexit transition period fast approaching, life sciences companies need to be ready for some major changes to drug regulations as well as the impact of new border and customs controls on the flow of medicines between Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the EU. In Vivo looks at what is at stake, and what still needs to be done, as the UK prepares to leave the EU single market and customs union at the beginning of 2021.
A singular focus on defeating COVID-19 will likely dominate the biopharma agenda at the beginning of 2021 and will determine how quickly the industry, and world, can bounce back to something like normalcy. New digital capabilities and learnings will continue to emerge as the pandemic ebbs, and strong industry balance sheets will keep the deal volume moving, according to experts and executives.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 has seen a hectic pace of cancer deal-making, including the two largest biopharma M&A deals of the year and 24 deals with upfront value of at least $100m.
Guidelines outline permitted practices and patient safeguards for both physicians and technology platforms.
Months of pandemic-induced disruption to health care systems and freedom of movement undoubtedly carries a cost. For the biopharmaceutical industry, this can be mitigated by its essential role in providing therapeutic interventions and leading the fightback via prophylactic vaccines. This softens the blow somewhat, certainly compared to other industries that are fully exposed to COVID-19 headwinds.
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