Welcome to the second edition of The Antidote.
It would seem Spring is in the air and that the sector is bursting with M&A activity. Despite predicting mega mergers may be less likely in 2014 (but not ruled out) we have seen a number of high-end deals, most notably: Valeant (with activist investor William Ackman) make a bid for Allergan; speculation of a potential bid by Pfizer for AstraZeneca; Meda reject a bid from Mylan; Merck in discussions to sell its consumer health business; and speculation that both Shire and Smith & Nephew may be the subject of possible bids. Whether or not all of these deals materialise, some of these companies will remain the subject of deal speculation and do something else, even if more defensive in nature. We did, however, correctly put the spotlight on Novartis, who have been busy entering into deals with both GSK and Lilly
But what is the reason for this? Are big pharma deals back in fashion or, as some critics would say, are big pharma in retreat and needing to reshape, or risk being left behind by their more nimble footed competitors?
This copy of The Antidote also looks at why the Far East continues to hold so much promise for the sector, particularly in China and Singapore and what may be the start of a resurgence for UK biotech IPOs.
If you would like to get in touch with me or another core Lifesciences partner, then please do so. Full details of the core Lifesciences partners can be found on the back of The Antidote.