2017 was an outstanding year for M&A in pharma. The most significant deals were clearly JnJ’s $30bn acquisition of Actelion and Gilead’s $11.9bn acquisition of Kite . Therefore, a new spate of acquisitions is expected for 2018. One of the key factors for the 2018 trend will be the fiscal reform initiated by the Trump administration, which has allowed large pharma groups to repatriate to the US large capitals raised overseas and to use them for acquisitions. Sanofi, Gilead and Celgene have already announced important deals for 2018, all in the oncology area. Merck and Co. as well is apparently ready to perform a significant acquisition–indeed, it has recently announced it is about to take over Viralytics, focused on the immunotherapy business. Oncology will dominate the M&A scene again, experts say. Its protagonists will be Pfizer, Celgene, Merck KGaA, Bristol-Myers, AstraZeneca, AbbVie and Incyte. According to IMSQuintiles, as many as 68 new therapies for 22 indications in oncology were approved from 2011 to 2016, with investments of $113bn, accounting for 46% of the overall investments in the pharma sector. Pharma groups have as many as 600 molecules for cancer treatment in their pipelines, IMSQuintiles added. This will clearly lead to new M&A battles.
(Source: Yahoo Finance)