Statements from the recently concluded JP Morgan conference indicate that many big pharma BD groups are actively seeking to purchase biotechs in 2012 as a means of extending their pipelines. An industry analyst observed that there are 18 biotechs trading at only twice the value of their cash reserves.
Companies that have been named by industry observers as potential acquisition candidates include GenMab, Active Biotech, and Achillion. Big Pharma players who have indicated they are in buying mode include BMS' CEO Lamberto Andreotti with its continuing "string of pearls" strategy, Roche's CEO Schwan indicates a $3 B budget for aquisitions, Sanofi's Viehbacher has $2.6 B set aside, and Novartis' Jimenez says they could spend $2 B - $3 B. Biogen's CEO Scangos also indicates their willingness to go out and buy early stage assets to compliment the later stages of their pipeline. See Fierce Biotech.
Early indications are that there should be good activity in the M&A arena in 2012.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Jan 13th 2012.