Issue Date: April 2, 2007
Biotech Deals On The Rise
Global biotechnology merger and acquisition activity increased in 2006 both in value and number. According to a study just released by the investment banking firm of Young & Partners, a record 25 deals valued at $25 million or more were completed in 2006 compared with 18 in 2005. The previous record for the decade was in 2003 when 22 deals were completed. The value of the 2006 transactions was $9.8 billion, versus $4.8 billion for 2005. Pharmaceutical companies fueled much of the acquisition activity followed by biotech consolidation deals. Two transactions in 2006 were valued at more than $2 billion: Gilead Sciences' acquisition of Myogen and Amgen's buy of Abgenix. Two others had a value in excess of $1 billion: Merck's acquisition of Sirna Therapeutics and AstraZeneca's purchase of Cambridge Antibody Technology. Biotech firms were able to raise $6.3 billion in 109 equity offerings last year versus $4.6 billion in 80 offerings in 2005. Peter Young, Young & Partners president, predicts that pharmaceutical companies will continue to buy promising biotech firms to make up for a lag in new drug development.
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