Mergers and Acquisitions

GSK gets pneumococcal vaccine contender with $2.1B Affinivax acquisition

Pfizer and Merck have each won FDA approvals in the past year for new pneumococcal vaccines, but GSK aims to top both of them with its $2.1 billion acquisition of Affinivax. That biotech’s Phase 3-ready vaccine candidate addresses more bacterial strains than any pneumococcal vaccines currently available.

GSK to buy US cancer drug developer amid pressure from activist investor

GlaxoSmithKline’s £1.5bn Sierra Oncology deal comes after pressure to boost its pipeline from Elliott The UK drug company GlaxoSmithKline has agreed a £1.5bn deal to buy a US cancer treatment developer as it tries to fend off pressure from activist shareholder Elliott Management. The deal will give Britain’s second-largest pharmaceutical company access to California-based Sierra …

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Unilever will not increase £50bn offer for GSK consumer arm

Company says data shared by GSK suggests ‘fundamental value’ of business no higher than offer Unilever has said it will not increase its offer for GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer healthcare division above £50bn after investors and analysts balked at the risk of it pulling off a large merger. Data shared by GSK suggested the “fundamental value” of …

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UCB is expanding its reach in epilepsy with $1.9B Zogenix acquisition

Epilepsy is a small part of UCB’s neurology pipeline, but its proposed Zogenix acquisition would broaden the Belgium-based drugmaker’s ability to address that market. Zogenix’s Fintepla is approved in the U.S. and Europe for a rare type of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome, and is in development for other rare epilepsies.

GSK banks on stronger offer for its consumer healthcare business

Analysis: drugmaker appears to be holding out for what would be one of largest ever deals in London after rejecting Unilever bids With typical bravado, GlaxoSmithKline has, we learned on Saturday, dismissed three takeover bids from Unilever for its consumer healthcare venture with Pfizer, including one worth £50bn received just before Christmas. The drugmaker, run …

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Novartis commits $1.5B to acquire eye disease gene therapy biotech Gyroscope

Novartis is acquiring gene therapy developer Gyroscope Therapeutics and its lead program, a potential treatment for the vision loss disorder geographic atrophy. It’s the latest in a series of M&A moves made by Novartis to build up its gene therapy pipeline.

Pfizer: $6.7B Arena buyout complements rather than replaces JAK drugs

Sales of blockbuster Pfizer drug Xeljanz are under pressure from a stronger safety warning placed across that drug’s entire class. In acquiring Arena Pharmaceuticals for $6.7 billion, Pfizer gets a lead compound with a different and potentially safer approach to treating inflammatory conditions.

Cancer drug specialist Clinigen agrees to £1.2bn takeover

Shares soar after board recommends offer from private equity firm Triton Investment Management The cancer drug specialist Clinigen has agreed to a £1.2bn takeover deal from a London-based investment firm, becoming the latest big British company to be taken private. Triton Investment Management has offered to pay 883p a share for the company, whose main …

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UnitedHealth, Change meet requirements for DOJ investigation, agree not to merge before February 

The companies have certified substantial compliance with a request for additional information from the Department of Justice, which opened an investigation of the merger in March. They struck an agreement with the agency not to merge until February of 2022, unless it drops its investigation before then. 

Bionano frames $90M BioDiscovery buy as way to expand genomics analysis

Bionano Genomics is acquiring genomics software firm BioDiscovery in a $90 million cash and stock deal. While both companies provide genomics analysis solutions, Bionano said combining its technology with BioDiscovery’s software will provide the integrated offering that many labs want.

Amicus deal puts it on path to profitability, infuses its gene therapies with $400M

Amicus Therapeutics is spinning its gene therapy pipeline into a separate entity that will go public via a SPAC merger. Executives say the transaction puts Amicus on a path to profitability while simultaneously securing the cash needed to develop the gene therapy assets.

Mental health unicorns Headspace, Ginger merge into $3B company 

The two companies will merge to form Headspace Health, which will combine Headspace’s many meditation and wellness exercises with Ginger’s coaching and therapy services. The combined company will have more than 800 employees and a $3 billion valuation. 

Verily adds to its clinical trials toolbox with acquisition of startup SignalPath

Verily’s recent moves have signaled the company’s interest in supporting decentralized clinical trials and real-world studies. Now the life sciences subsidiary of Alphabet is bolstering its capabilities in this these areas with the acquisition of startup SignalPath.

Amgen adds antibody assets and R&D tech with $900M Teneobio acquisition

Amgen is paying $900 million up front to acquire Teneobio, a biotech with technology for discovering and developing antibody drugs. Though Amgen already has its own antibody platform, the company says Teneobio’s technology and drug assets will complement its own.

Philip Morris International makes £1bn offer for pharma firm Vectura

Tobacco company strikes deal for British firm developing pioneering inhaled treatment for Covid-19 Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Philip Morris International, the tobacco company and maker of Marlboro cigarettes, has struck a £1bn deal to buy Vectura, the British pharmaceutical company developing a pioneering inhaled treatment for Covid-19. The £1.04bn offer …

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AI-drug discovery biotech Valo Health is going public via a $2.8B SPAC merger

Valo Health is going public in a SPAC merger. Less than nine months removed from its formal launch, Valo is now revealing more about its artificial intelligence platform technology, which it plans to use to make the firm the first “digitally native” pharmaceutical company.

MorphoSys to buy Constellation Pharma in a $1.7B bet on epigenetic cancer drugs

MorphoSys is acquiring Constellation Pharmaceuticals and its late-stage myelofibrosis drug in a deal that values the epigenetics biotech at $1.7 billion. Germany-based MorphoSys will finance the acquisition with cash from a separate $2 billion deal with drug royalty acquirer Royalty Pharma.

UK pharmaceutical firm Ventura agrees to £958m takeover deal

Private equity firm Carlyle Group to buy company that is developing inhaled treatment for Covid-19 Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The British pharmaceutical company Vectura Group, which is developing a pioneering inhaled treatment for Covid-19, has agreed a £958m takeover by Carlyle Group as it looks set to become the latest …

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Investors flock to life sciences as UK sector breaks funding record

Covid crisis spurs growing interest in drugmakers, diagnostics and medical equipment firms UK drugmakers, diagnostics, medical equipment and other life sciences companies have raised £10.6bn from private funding rounds and stock market flotations in the first three months of the year, more than half of last year’s record total, according to a report. Last year, …

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Relay Therapeutics pays $85M for startup with a new AI tech for drug discovery

Relay Therapeutics has its own technology that applies artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to drug discovery. Its $85 million acquisition of ZebiAI gives it another technology that applies ML to DNA-encoded libraries and predicts the small molecules with the potential to drug proteins.

Thermo Fisher’s $21B deal for PPD gives it missing piece in drug development cycle

Thermo Fisher Scientific sells laboratory equipment used in drug research and it also offers manufacturing services for experimental and commercialized drugs. By acquiring PPD, Thermo Fisher says it will gain capabilities in the growing global market of clinical trial services.

Hologic makes a multiplex molecular testing move with $795M Mobidiag acquisition

Mobidiag offers multiplex testing, which is the ability to test for multiple pathogens from a single test sample. Hologic said the acquisition will enable the company to enter the acute care test market, which is projected to grow in a post-pandemic world.

IQVIA pays Quest Diagnostics $760M to get full control of central lab joint venture

IQVIA has acquired Quest Diagnostics’ minority stake in Q2 Solutions, a central laboratory services joint venture the two companies formed in 2015. But Quest will remain a preferred provider of lab testing services under an agreement with Q2.

Roche’s $1.8B GenMark deal brings a key testing capability for Covid-19 and beyond

Roche already sells a Covid-19 diagnostic. In acquiring GenMark Diagnostics for $1.8B, Roche is adding technology that can detect SARS-CoV-2 along with multiple respiratory diseases in a single test from a single patient sample—a capability the Swiss multinational company does not currently offer.

AstraZeneca shares slump after it agrees $39bn Alexion buyout

Britain’s biggest drugmaker offers 45% premium for shares of US rare diseases specialist AstraZeneca shares fell sharply after it agreed to a $39bn (£29bn) takeover of the US rare diseases specialist Alexion, the biggest deal in its history if it goes ahead. Investors sold off shares in the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker over fears it was paying …

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Blackstone’s $4.7B acquisition of Ancestry raises privacy questions

Ancestry, which grew from a genealogy tracking tool to offering DNA tests for a number of healthconditions, reached a deal to be acquired by Blackstone for $4.7 billion. But privacy advocates have raised concerns over the deal — namely, what would happen to users’ health data?

UK firms critical to public health protected from foreign takeovers

Legislation protects those needed in future pandemics who may be struggling now Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The UK government has introduced legislation to protect businesses that are key to public health from foreign takeovers. The changes give the government the power to protect companies that could be critical in helping …

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