M&A

Merck KGaA will bolster its mRNA contract manufacturing business with the $780 million acquisition of Exelead, an Indiana-based CDMO, the multinational announced last week.

Exelead’s specialties include lipid nanoparticle-based drug delivery technology used in mRNA-based therapeutics, according to a Merck press release.

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Thermo Fisher wrapped up 2021 by buying bioscience reagents specialist PeproTech for $1.9 billion in cash, the Massachusetts-based behemoth announced last week.

The deal gives Thermo Fisher access to New Jersey-based PeproTech’s recombinant proteins portfolio, “an excellent strategic fit within our biosciences business,” per the press release.

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Quidel Corporation will buy New Jersey in-vitro diagnostic specialist Ortho Clinical for $6 billion in cash and newly issued shares, per a late December announcement from the San Diego-based company.

Expected to close in the first half of 2022, the deal will allow for “top-tier R&D capabilities, a more diverse product pipeline, and broader geographic footprint,” Quidel’s CEO said in the press release.

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Two pharmas closed out 2021 with large M&As.

In the biggest deal of the year, Melbourne-based CSL announced last week an all-cash acquisition of Swiss specialty pharma Vifor worth $11.7 billion. The purchase will help “expand our presence in the rapidly growing nephrology market,” CSL’s CEO said in a press release.

Next, Sanofi struck a billion-dollar deal with California-based Amunix, the French company announced Tuesday. The merger supports “Sanofi’s efforts to accelerate…

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Reportedly flush with Covid-19 vaccine revenues, Pfizer will shell out approximately $6.7 billion in cash to buy San Diego-based Arena Pharmaceuticals, the companies announced Monday. The acquisition will boost Pfizer’s Inflammation and Immunology program, the press release said.

Pfizer will also invest $68.5 million to build a gene therapy manufacturing facility in North Carolina, the New York-headquartered company announced Wednesday.

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Novo Nordisk will swallow up Massachusetts-based drugmaker Dicerna for $3.3 billion in cash, the Danish company announced in November.

The companies partnered in 2019 to develop RNA interference (RNAi) therapies using Dicerna’s proprietary technology, which Novo will acquire as part of the deal, according to its press release.

The acquisition is the latest in a slew of big-ticket purchases for Novo Nordisk, including a $1.35 billion buyout of Emisphere Technologies and a deal for…

After more than 20 years as a shareholder, Novartis has agreed to sell its 33% stake in Roche to its Basel-based cross-town rival for $20.7 billion, the companies separately announced last week.

“We concluded that now is the right time to monetize our investment,” Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan said in a press release. Meanwhile, Roche’s press release claimed the move disentangles the two competitors and enables it to regain “full strategic flexibility.”

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Shanghai’s Fosun Pharma is racking up majority ownership of Antejin Biotech through a $628 million deal combining Fosun’s vaccine unit with the Chengdu-based biopharma, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

Antejin has a 13-valent pneumococcal vaccine in early-stage trials, according to Bloomberg, and a 24-valent pneumococcal conjugate shot in an earlier stage of development, according to Endpoints News. Fosun will have the option to boost its 73% Antejin stake to as high as 92% if those…

Merck and Acceleron Pharma announced last week that the multinational is buying the Massachusetts-based cardiovascular specialist for $11.5 billion.

In the deal, Merck gets Acceleron’s technology for the transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta superfamily of proteins, Phase 3 pulmonary arterial hypertension drug candidate Sotatercept, and licensed anemia treatment Reblozyl, the press release said.

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Dhaka-based Beximco Pharmaceuticals will become the majority owner of Sanofi Bangladesh under a share purchase agreement announced Tuesday, per local media.

The parties provisionally agreed to a $49 million deal in January 2021, according to New Age.

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