Siemens’ Companion Dx Deals Address Pharma’s Interest In Multiple Technologies
Separate deals with Viiv Healthcare and gene therapy specialist Tocagen illustrate the increasing emphasis on application of multiple technologies toward the development of companion diagnostics, as pharma strives to determine how best to assure market access to its targeted drugs.
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Medical device companies raised $1.1 billion, a 40% increase over Q4 2011’s $800 million. Two billion-dollar deals in the resuscitation market boosted device acquisition activity to $4.2 billion. Twenty diagnostics financings brought in a collective $302 million, soaring above the previous quarter’s $269 million. There were seven diagnostics M&A deals completed, totaling $589 million – down yet again.
Pfizer developed crizotinib and its companion diagnostic in just four years after identifying an aberrant ALK gene as the target, spanning a corporate restructuring, the Wyeth integration, and the departure of senior staff in the R&D organization and oncology BU. The next year or so will tell whether Xalkori was a flash in the pan, or whether it marks the long awaited turnaround for Pfizer’s oncology business and a model for nimble drug development.
A variety of new players have become active dealmakers around personalized medicine diagnostics tests and services. One way to put these deals in context is to view the acquired assets through the lens of how they are to be deployed. To a large extent, the transactions are being driven by the interests of drugmakers, which are seeking new tools to assist them in clinical trials, thus creating more opportunity for the acquirers to offer clinical development services.