The COVID-19 health crisis has introduced new dynamics in the global healthcare system while pushing leading pharmaceutical companies into investing more in research and development as others are enticed into mergers and acquisitions for an opportunity to expand their product portfolio especially in new therapeutic areas.
As 2021 comes to a close, several pharma companies have in the course of the year either announced, closed or completed merger and acquisition deals as industry players sought to increase their investment levels and earnings.
“Large pharmaceutical companies have strong balance sheets and capital continues to be readily available,” says PwC in its mid-2021 insight int the year’s Pharmaceutical & life sciences deals. (1)
PwC says apart from the fact “biotech funding continues to trend well, pushing valuation up, special purpose acquisition companies have continued to move towards the mainstream as a viable alternative to traditional mergers and acquisitions and initial public offers continue to be a hotspot for investors and companies looking for the capital needed to fuel growth.”
During the year several merger and acquisition transactions were either announced, closed or completed including the acquisition of specialty bio pharmaceutical company ADVANZ PHARMA by Nordic Capital in a deal valued at $846 million sometime last June. (2)
"This deal is fantastic news for ADVANZ PHARMA and our goal of becoming the go-to partner for complex medicines in Europe,” said Graeme Duncan, Chief Executive Officer of ADVANZ PHARMA.
Jazz Pharmaceuticals also completed the acquisition of GW Pharmaceuticals Plc for a total value of approximately $7.2 billion to create “an innovative, high-growth, global biopharma leader in neuroscience with a worldwide commercial and operational footprint." (3)
"The addition of GW further diversifies our commerical portfolio and innovative pipeline with therapies that are complementary to our existing business, including Epidiolex, a high-growth commercial product with near-term blockbuster potential,” said Bruce Cozadd, chairman and chief executive officer of Jazz Pharmaceuticals.
Elsewhere, Roche Holding AG announced completion of its share purchase agreement to acquire 100% of the outstanding shares of TIB Molbiol Group, a global biotech company supplying reagents for research and medical diagnostics that will continue to operate as a subsidiary within the Roche Diagnostics division. (4)
Roche said together with TIB Molbiol they “will build on their capabilities for the rapid development of assays for emerging pathogens and potential health threats, such as infectious diseases.”
“TIB Molbiol will continue to be an innovation engine and frontrunner in our common fight against infectious diseases, such as SARS-CoV-2”, said Thomas Schinecker, CEO Roche Diagnostics.
“TIB Molbiol has helped to shape the future of PCR infectious disease testing, and will continue to drive cutting-edge research so we can bring better healthcare outcomes to patients faster,” he said.
Generally, within the pharmaceutical and life sciences (PLS) market, several other deals were transacted or announced such as the Hellman & Fredman LLC acquisition of Medline Industries Inc, Thermo Fisher Scientific acquisition of PPD Inc, STERIS Plc’s new agreement for acquiring Cantel Medical Corp and Horizon Therapeutics USA Inc acquisition of Viela Bio Inc. (1)
Other major deals announced or completed in 2021 include Diasorin SpA’s acquisition of Luminex Corporation and Amgen Inc deal with Five Prime Therapeutics Inc. (1)
According to IQVIA, one of the world’s largest Healthcare Data Science Company and leader in Human Data Science Technology, an estimated US$1.5 trillion will be spent globally in medicine by the end of 2021, a key driver in the pharmaceutical mergers and acquisition market. (5)
During the first half of 2021 PwC’s report observes, “some pharmaceutical and life science deals have revolved around the need to secure supply chains.”
The trend was projected to continue during the second half of 2021 “as companies contend with localized challenges, whether they are caused by further regionalized COVID-19 outbreaks or other factors,” according to the PwC report.
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