Monday, December 23, 2013

And the Nominees for IVB's 2013 M&A of the Year Are ...

We've nominated five 2013 Deals for M&A of the Year. It's time for you, esteemed readers of The In Vivo Blog, to decide the winner. It's an eclectic bunch this year -- we can't wait to see what you'll choose. Our polls will stay open through the New Year, until Noon ET on Tuesday, January 7. Good luck to the nominees! VOTE BELOW! IF YOU ARE VIEWING VIA EMAIL AND CAN'T SEE THE POLL, CLICK HERE.

Valeant/B&L: The May 2013 deal was a big win for private equity owners Warburg Pincus. It put some extra shine on the reputation of then-B&L CEO Brent Saunders, who has moved on to Forest to work his Hassanian brand of turnaround-magic in the world of primary care. And it again highlighted ophthalmology -- and B&L's diversified pharma/device/consumer approach to the field -- as an industry hotspot. But the main reason we've nominated Valeant/B&L for the M&A Roger this year is that it underscores the increased activity on the big deal front of specialty pharma over its supposedly deeper pocketed Big Pharma rivals. Read the full nomination here.

McKesson/Celesio: McKesson’s purchase of German drug wholesaler Celesio for $8.3 billion is one of the largest deals of 2013, but that is not what puts it on the In Vivo Blog Deal of the Year map. More to the point, and the reason it should be on the radar of everyone in the biopharma industry, is its likely impact on pharma and the drivers that led it to consolidate in the first place. Although the deal focuses on distribution and supply chain management, some of the duller aspects of an industry prone to flaunt its contribution to saving lives, it is every bit just as important to pharma’s health as the next big deal in cancer immunotherapy. Read the full nomination here.

Biogen/Elan's Half of Tysabri: Elan’s move to sell its share of Tysabri (natalizumab) to long-time partner Biogen Idec was the ball that set the Rube Goldberg device in motion, precipitating its endgame and eventual sale to Perrigo, and landing it on the 2013 shortlist for M&A deal of the year. Ultimately, this sale gave Elan the thing it needed to become appealing to virtually any acquirer – lots of cash. Tysabri fits right into Biogen’s sweet spot; alongside Avonex (interferon beta-1a) and Tecfidera (dimethyl fumerate) Biogen's locked down about 40% of the total MS market. Read the full nomination here.

Amgen/Onyx: Onyx serves as a leg up for Amgen as it looks to establish itself as a major oncology innovator and bring forward a pipeline of oncology drugs it has cobbled together partly through acquisitions. Despite the possibility of drama, the deal wound up as a straightforward acquisition that hedges risk for the buyer and still rewards the seller, one where the purchase price, at $125 per share, meets a middle ground. Read the full nomination here.

The Ibrutinib Royalty: Royalty deals have long been the provenance of more conservative private-equity vehicles. And so it was odd not just to see two venture firms join the royalty deal but also to hear how much each was putting up. Aisling Capital and Clarus Ventures said in August they had paid $48.5 million to acquire a tiny slice of sales royalties from ibrutinib, a cancer drug that hadn't been approved yet. Read the full nomination here.

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