Notable mergers & acquisitions in the life sciences in Q3 2017

During the third quarter of 2017, Cortellis Deals Intelligence had 122 deals added as part of its ongoing coverage of life science mergers & acquisitions (M&A) compared to 145 in Q2 this year and 124 in Q3 the previous year.


Deal activity in the third quarter from 2009 to 2017

Deal activity in the third quarter of 2017 remained consistent with the same quarter over the previous three years, while total deal value was slightly lower than the previous year’s third quarter with Gilead’s $11.9 billion acquisition of Kite Pharma contributing to most of the figure (Figure 1).

Figure 1: M&A activity in the third quarter from 2009 – 2017 (Source: Cortellis)


Kite Pharma and immuno-oncology heads to Gilead for $11.9 billion

Gilead acquired Kite Pharma for $180 per share in cash or $11.9 billion in total to advance its position in the field of immuno-oncology. Gilead gains access to Kite’s chimeric antigen receptors expressed from engineered T-cells (CAR-Ts), including axicabtagene ciloleucel (Yescarta), its most advanced CAR-T therapy which had been awaiting U.S. approval for lymphoma. It is projected to provide Gilead with a valuable revenue stream in the form of $3.2 billion a year by 2023. Kite would have had to pay a fee of $356 million if the merger agreement fell through.

$2.3 billion IFM Therapeutics bolsters BMS’s fight against cancer

Immunotherapy-focused IFM Therapeutics became part of Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) along with its stimulator of interferon genes agonists and NACHT, LRR and PYD domains-containing protein-3 (NLRP3) inflammasome agonists targeting the innate immune system for cancer. BMS parts with $300 million upon closing, milestones of up to $1.01 billion for each of the two programs plus milestones for further products.

Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma targets NeuroDerm for $1.17 billion

Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma (MTP) targeted NeuroDerm for $39 per share in cash ($1.117 billion in total) as it sees potential in Parkinson’s disease (PD) treatment ND-0612. The levodopa/carbidopa combination, which activates dopamine and inhibits dopa decarboxylase, respectively, is administered subcutaneously either as a fixed-low or -high dose through a patch pump or belt pump, respectively. The phase III candidate is already favorable among the FDA and EMA with filings projected in 2018. MTP’s Israel-based merger subsidiary will reverse merge into NeuroDerm and maintain the latter’s name.

NeoTract and prostate device enlarges Teleflex’s portfolio for $1.1 billion

Teleflex, a global provider of medical technologies gained NeoTract, a medical device company and the FDA-cleared UroLift system for lower urinary tract symptoms due to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) for $1.1 billion ($725 million upfront and $375 million in milestones). The UroLift system is placed through the obstructed urethra to allow for the permanent placement of UroLift implants which lift or hold the enlarged prostate tissue, reducing urethra obstruction and symptoms.

Sanofi captures Protein Sciences and Flublok Q vaccine for $750 million

The U.S. approval of recombinant protein-based, quadrivalent influenza vaccine FluBlok Q has enticed Sanofi to capture Protein Sciences (PS) for $650 million upfront and up to $100 million in milestones; $20 million being placed in an escrow (to meet any claim for compensation from Sanofi) and $50 million in milestones presumably associated with an expected U.S. approval of recombinant glutamic acid decarboxylase vaccine Diamyd for type 1 diabetes, which PS is manufacturing for Mertiva. The cell-cultured vaccine contains recombinant hemagglutinin which targets four strains of influenza and is more than 40% more protective than egg-produced equivalents.

Merck’s RNA strategy for cancer strengthened by $552 million bid for Rigontec

University of Bonn spin-out Rigontec is pursuing RGT-100, a synthetic 5′-triphosphate RNA that selectively stimulates RNA receptor retinoic acid inducible gene for cancer, including lymphoma and melanoma. With a phase I/II trial underway, Merck has set its sights on Rigontec for $137 million upfront and milestones of $415 million.

Mallinckrodt adds InfaCare to neonatal portfolio for $425 million

InfaCare’s stannsoporfin (Stanate), awaiting approval for the reduction of bilirubin in neonatal jaundice, has attracted a $425 million bid from Mallinckrodt consisting of an upfront $80 million and up to $345 million in milestones (Figure 2). The heme oxygenase inhibitor will add to Mallinckrodt’s pediatric pipeline.


Figure 2: Mallinckrodt’s $425 million acquisition of InfaCare (Source: Cortellis)


CSL in $416 million hunt for Calimmune’s stem cells for blood disorders

CSL Behring is to gain a new hematopoietic stem cell gene therapy platform as it focuses on Calimmune for $416 million ($91 million upfront and up to $325 million in milestones). The Select+ platform enables selective survival of genetically modified stem cells with increased resistance to toxicity and DNA damage once they are given back to patients. Cytegrity is a manufacturing system used to generate lentiviral vectors that deliver genetic material into the patients’ own stem cells. One of the gene therapies in the frame is CAL-H, a genetically engineered autologous cell therapy involving hematopoietic stem cells transduced ex vivo using a lentiviral vector encoding the gamma-globin gene, in discovery for sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia.

Outlook in Q4

In the early part of the fourth quarter, M&A activity continues to show momentum. Boston Scientific approached Apama Medical and its multi-electrode radiofrequency balloon catheter system targeting atrial fibrillation for $300 million. Jotec, along with its aortic repair portfolio, including endovascular stent grafts, and cardiac and vascular surgical grafts, was identified by CryoLife for $225 million.


This analysis was developed with data from Cortellis Deals Intelligence and Cortellis Competitive Intelligence. For an analysis of Q3 2017 dealmaking, see Notable licensing deals in the biopharma industry in Q3 2017.

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