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MaxMarioni's Insights

Insights for April 2016

Big pharma seems to have been gripped by merger mania, starting from this month's botched merger between US giant Pfizer and Dublin-based Allergan. The value of mergers in the healthcare sector since 2014 amounted to more than $650 billion, accounting for 14% of global M&A activity worldwide. Now it's the turn of Astrazeneca (AZN:LN), which contends with GlaxoSmithKline the title of biggest British pharmaceutical company. The Cambridge-based healthcare conglomerate is reportedly considering a takeover of Medivation, a US-based drug manufacturer which specialises in cancer treatments. The offer is supposed to be around the £7 billion mark, and would bring Medivation's best-selling cancer cures within Astrazeneca's stable, at a time when its patent on key cancer drug Crestor is expected to expire. This would entail a loss of exclusivity to its formula, with is set to hit the company hard. Astrazeneca is not a company renowned for M&A, having shied away from market takeovers in the past, however lately it has been more active on that front. The Cambridge company has been already the object of merger speculation with Pfizer itself, and last year bought a 55% stake in Acerta Pharma, another pharma company specialising in oncology. Medivation, meanwhile, has recently rebuffed a hostile takeover bid from French company Sanofi. (Read more)

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