Deals of the Week Takes Stock In M&A
Do high biotech share prices portend stock-heavy deal-making in lieu of all-cash transactions? Also, Biogen shares the risk with Eisai in an Alzheimer’s deal, while newly public Genocea and cell therapy specialist NeoStem both teamed with Harvard researchers.
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Recent scientific advances and some initial biotech successes have spurred investors to look again at gene therapy, a space once given up for dead. Gene therapies seem particularly apt for ocular diseases, but the pathway to approval remains largely uncharted for young companies such as the four we profile in this issue: Avalanche Biotechnologies, Eyevensys, GenSight Biologics, and Hemera Biosciences.
With the termination of a Phase II trial of LY2887621, Merck’s MK-8931 leads the race to become the first BACE inhibitor approved for Alzheimer’s, although four other companies have similar candidates in earlier stages of development. Lilly says it may continue to pursue BACE inhibition in Alzheimer’s.
A Moody’s report lists seven pharmas among the 50 non-financial companies sitting on the largest piles of cash. These very big war chests hold the preferred currency, particularly for ex-U.S.pharma deal-making.