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2008's Top Biopharma Dealmakers

Executive Summary

Last year was dominated by the weakening financial markets and cash-strapped biotechs trying to find alternative sources of capital. But 2008 still managed to produce uniquely structured biopharma partnerships and groundbreaking takeovers that moved acquirers into new businesses. Below we focus below on the dealmakers, showing which companies dominated the dealmaking landscape in terms of volume, as well as the therapeutic areas that grabbed the most attention.

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Pharmaceutical/Biotechnology Deal Statistics Quarterly, Q4 2008

Highlights from the Q4 2008 review of pharmaceutical and biotechnology dealmaking: Financing dollar volume was only one-fourth that of Q3 with 57 deals bringing in over $1.09 billion, with no IPOs or FOPOs, but early-stage VC rounds accounting for 41% of this total. M&A dollars also were down: $7.6 billion in Q4--versus the $25.2 billion of the previous quarter--and contributing just 15% to the category's 2008 annual total. Alliances saw the most activity, boasting ten deals with pre-commercialization values greater than $100 million. Five of those were over $275 million, including Bristol-Myers Squibb Inc.'s $850 million tie up with Exelixis Inc., not only the fourth quarter's highest, but the second-largest alliance of the year.

Pharmaceutical/Biotechnology Deal Statistics Quarterly, Q4 2008

Highlights from the Q4 2008 review of pharmaceutical and biotechnology dealmaking: Financing dollar volume was only one-fourth that of Q3 with 57 deals bringing in over $1.09 billion, with no IPOs or FOPOs, but early-stage VC rounds accounting for 41% of this total. M&A dollars also were down: $7.6 billion in Q4--versus the $25.2 billion of the previous quarter--and contributing just 15% to the category's 2008 annual total. Alliances saw the most activity, boasting ten deals with pre-commercialization values greater than $100 million. Five of those were over $275 million, including Bristol-Myers Squibb Inc.'s $850 million tie up with Exelixis Inc., not only the fourth quarter's highest, but the second-largest alliance of the year.

Biopharma in 2008: What a Difference an Economic Crisis Makes

Even before the financial meltdown, 2008 was a remodeling year for the biopharmaceutical world. Many pharma companies, more reliant on the product candidates and technologies of the biotech world than ever, were pinned down by excess infrastructure and lagging productivity. But when the world's cash dried up, so, too, did biotech's leverage over those downtrodden in-licensers and acquirers. We highlight some top trends from a difficult year that may shape industry in 2009 and beyond.

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