SAN FRANCISCO-- After watching months of pharma's M&A; wave from the sidelines, Teva finally made a splash this summer with an agreement to pick up Allergan's generics business. And it may not be finished in the dealmaking arena.
Merck has snagged Edinburgh-based IOmet for an undisclosed sum, adding a preclinical pipeline of therapies that target the IDO/TDO pathways that may help spur an immune system attack on cancer.
Venture capital investment in the U.S. jumped to $59 billion last year--almost twice what it was a scant 5 years ago, according to the latest annual healthcare report from Silicon Valley Bank. But medical devices are capturing an ever-shrinking portion of all that largesse for innovation--down to a mere 4% of that VC total for last year or $2.4 billion, which is roughly right where it was in 2014.
The new year has its first megadeal agreement, thanks to Shire and Baxalta. On Monday, the two finally announced a $32 billion tie-up after a months-long pursuit by the Dublin drugmaker.
In the requisite flood of dealmaking that marks day one of San Francisco's annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, high-profile biotechs Juno Therapeutics and Moderna Therapeutics widened their R&D; operations, while some smaller players signed deals and roped in cash to keep their projects moving.
It took a few months, but Shire has wrapped a $32 billion deal to acquire Baxalta, providing CEO Flemming Ornskov with the big merger that he has been promising investors.
Last week, investors unveiled a $73 million startup complete with $750 million deal to pursue star Dana-Farber investigator Jay Bradner's preclinical work in developing protein degraders to fight cancer. Today, Roche is coming back to grab Tensha Therapeutics--a virtual biotech in the HealthCare Ventures stable that has an early-stage clinical program underway for Bradner's BET (bromodomain) inhibitor--in a $535 million buyout.
Could Shire's months-long pursuit of Baxalta finally be coming to a close? That's the word from Reuters, which says the Dublin drugmaker is preparing to announce its acquisition--valued at about $32.5 billion--as early as Monday.
Shire and Baxalta both reportedly want to make a tie-up happen. So what's taking so long? According to the Financial Times, the potential deal now hinges on Shire's ability to put cash in the mix without triggering a hefty tax bill. And the Dublin drugmaker won't be proceeding until it's "highly confident" in the advice it receives, the newspaper's sources say.
Charles River Laboratories extended its run of acquisitions with a $585 million buyout of WIL Research, picking up a company the CRO said will expand its global footprint and bolster its manufacturing capabilities.