6 recent drugmaker transactions, partnerships

As disruptors continue to push into the healthcare arena and pressure accumulates to reduce drug prices, pharmaceutical companies are taking steps to remain competitive and enhance their drug pipelines.

2017 marked a slow year of mergers and acquisitions in the pharmaceutical industry. However, experts from some of the largest drug manufacturers are expecting the pace of deals in 2018 to significantly accelerate as a result of the tax overhaul. So far, they have been right. In the first quarter of 2018, the volume of pharmaceutical takeovers rose to a record-setting level, according to Bloomberg.

In the last two months, the following drugmakers announced or completed mergers, acquisitions, partnerships and general transactions.

Note: This is not an exhaustive list. Deals were reported by Becker's Hospital Review and are presented in the order they were reported.

1. Takeda wins shareholder approval for $58B takeover of Shire
Despite opposition by several parties, Takeda Pharmaceutical shareholders voted to approve its multibillion dollar deal to buy Shire, valued at about $58 billion.

2. GlaxoSmithKline to buy Tesaro for $5.1B
Drug giant GlaxoSmithKline agreed to buy cancer treatment company Tesaro for about $5.1 billion including debt.

3. AstraZeneca sells respiratory drug for $1.5B
AstraZeneca has sold U.S. rights to its treatment for infant lung infections to Swedish Orphan Biovitrum for $1.5 billion, the latest move by the drugmaker to trim its pipeline and refocus on priority drugs.

4. Eli Lilly buys $100M stake in gene-silencing drug firm
Eli Lilly & Co.  is the latest drugmaker to bet on gene-silencing technology, spending $100 million for a stake in Dicerna Pharmaceuticals.

5. AstraZeneca bolsters cancer drug pipeline with $170M Innate Pharma deal
AstraZeneca has struck a $170 million deal with Innate Pharma that will bolster its cancer drug pipeline as the London-based drug giant pivots toward a future in oncology.

6. Novartis strikes $2.1B deal to buy cancer drugmaker Endocyte
In a deal valued at $2.1 billion, Swiss pharma giant Novartis AG will purchase Endocyte, a U.S.-based biopharmaceutical company developing new treatments for prostate cancer.

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