Pharma deals in an era of heightened competition: 20 drugmaker transactions, partnerships in 2018

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, and this trend has shown no signs of slowing.

Since Jan. 1, the following drugmakers have 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 on.

1. Roche to acquire Foundation Medicine for $2.4B
Pharmaceutical giant Roche Holding will pay $2.4 billion to acquire the remaining shares it doesn't already own of Foundation Medicine, putting more stake into a future for personalized cancer treatments.

2. J&J divests LifeScan unit for $2.1B: 3 things to know
Johnson & Johnson will sell its LifeScan diabetes unit to the private equity firm Platinum Equity for $2.1 billion.

3. A new medical device giant? Stryker makes takeover bid for Boston Scientific
Medical device maker Stryker has reportedly approached its rival Boston Scientific with a takeover bid, a move that would create a combined company with a market value of more than $110 billion.

4. A new pharma giant —Takeda acquires Shire for $62B
Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. acquired its much larger rival Shire for $62 billion in cash and stock — a deal that catapults the Japanese company into a new league of drug industry giants. 

5. Shire sells oncology unit in $2.4B deal
London-based rare disease drugmaker Shire divested its oncology business to the French drug company Servier for $2.4 billion. 

6. Novartis to acquire gene therapy firm AveXis for $8.7B
Novartis will pay $218 per share for AveXis, a $8.7 billion deal that is a 72 percent premium to the company's 30-day volume-weighted average stock price.

7. Roche completes $1.9B acquisition of oncology EHR vendor Flatiron Health
Roche closed its acquisition of oncology EHR vendor Flatiron Health, the Swiss pharmaceutical and diagnostics company confirmed April 6. Roche purchased the New York City-based startup for $1.9 billion on a "fully diluted basis, subject to certain adjustments."

8. Allergan eyes sale of women's health unit: 4 things to know
Allergan is looking into strategic options for its women's health unit amid a financial slump driven by heightened competition for its best-selling skin and eye drugs.

9. GlaxoSmithKline buys Novartis' stake in consumer healthcare unit for $13B: 4 things to know
GlaxoSmithKline will purchase Novartis' 36.5 percent stake in their consumer healthcare joint venture for $13 billion. 

10. Canadian devicemaker to purchase Cogentix Medical for $239M
Toronto-based Laborie Medical Technologies will acquire Minnetonka, Minn.-based Cogentix Medical for $239 million.

11. Pfizer sells neurology drug to Biogen in nearly $600M deal: 4 things to know
Biogen shared plans in March to buy Pfizer's experimental neurology drug in a deal worth up to $590 million. 

12. Merck to purchase Viralytics for $394M: 3 things to know
In a move to expand its cancer immunotherapy pipeline, Merck & Co. inked a deal Feb. 21 to buy Viralytics, a virus-based cancer drug firm, for $394 million.

13. AbbVie, Voyager ink $69M deal to develop Alzheimer's drug
AbbVie, a pharmaceutical company based in North Chicago, Ill., teamed up with Voyager Therapeutics, a clinical stage gene therapy company, to develop a treatment for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

14. J&J reportedly seeks buyers for its $2B sterilization division: 4 things to know
As part of its move to divest non-core assets, Johnson & Johnson reportedly is seeking buyers for its sterilization products division.  

15. Novartis looks to auction off US generics business: 4 takeaways
Novartis plans to auction off its generic pill business in the U.S. amid heightened competition. 

16.  Bristol-Myers, Nektar ink $1.85B cancer drug deal
Bristol-Myers Squibb will pay Nektar Therapeutics $1 billion to develop a cancer immunotherapy treatment — one of the largest deals ever inked for a single drug's development.

17Sanofi to buy US hemophilia drugmaker for $11.6B
Paris-based Sanofi will acquire all outstanding shares of Waltham, Mass.-based Bioverativ for about $11.6 billion.

18Celgene to acquire Juno Therapeutics for $9B, betting on a future for CAR-T therapies
Biopharmaceutical giant Celgene will purchase Juno Therapeutics for $9 billion in a move to expand in the increasingly competitive cancer treatment landscape. 

19. Celgene to acquire Impact Biomedicines for up to $7B
U.S. biopharmaceutical firm Celgene will acquire Impact Biomedicines, a San Diego-based startup focusing on developing treatments for complex cancers, for up to $7 billion.

20. Mallinckrodt to acquire Sucampo Pharmaceuticals for $1.2B: 3 things to know
United Kingdom-based drugmaker Mallinckrodt will acquire Rockville, Md.-based Sucampo Pharmaceuticals for $18 per share. Including Sucampo's debt, the total transaction value is approximately $1.2 billion. 

More articles on pharmacy: 
Pharmacist recommended: 30 top OTC health products of 2018
Novo Nordisk considers 3k layoffs amid turbulence in US insulin market
Bayer hikes price of 2 cancer drugs by $1k per month

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