Here’s a rundown of the most significant Pharma M&A transactions of 2023 that have taken place recently.
GSK bags Bellus Health for $2B to bolster respiratory pipeline (April 2023)
On April 18, GSK said it would acquire late-stage biopharmaceutical company Bellus Health for roughly $2.0 billion. This acquisition will give the firm access to camlipixant, a selective P2X3 antagonist and potential best-in-class treatment for refractory chronic cough (RCC) now in phase 3 clinical development. GSK aims to launch camlipixant in 2026. GSK anticipates the acquisition to boost adjusted earnings per share starting in 2027 and offer significant sales potential until 2031.
Merck scoops up Prometheus Biosciences for $11B (April 2023)
Merck had explored acquiring Seagen last year, but it ended up not happening. Instead, the Rahway, New Jersey–based pharma heavyweight has agreed to pay roughly $10.8 billion to acquire Prometheus Biosciences, picking up a promising experimental treatment, PRA023, for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The deal will bolster its presence in immunology. Merck will pay $200 per share for the California-based biotech that specializes in treatments for autoimmune diseases, representing a 75.4% premium to Prometheus’ last closing price. Merck’s CEO Robert Davis anticipates that the Prometheus drug candidate, PRA023, could be a multibillion-dollar seller. Prometheus had been developing it for inflammatory bowel diseases and other autoimmune conditions.
Biggest Pharma M&A deal of 2023 so far: Pfizer bags Seagen for $43B (March 2023)
Pfizer acquired Seattle-based biotech Seagen for $43 billion, significantly strengthening its oncology capabilities. By combining Seagen’s antibody-drug conjugate technology with Pfizer’s own expertise, the deal is expected to strengthen their position in the market and enhance their ability to develop innovative therapies for various diseases.
Sanofi shells out almost $3B for Provention Bio (March 2023)
Sanofi purchased Provention Bio for roughly $2.9 billion, adding a first-in-class therapy for type 1 diabetes to Sanofi’s core asset portfolio. This acquisition supports Sanofi’s strategic shift toward differentiated products, ensuring a stronger focus on the development of novel and specialized therapies for patients in need.
Sanofi plans to purchases Provention Bio for $2.9 billion amid FTC review (March 2023)
Sanofi acquired Provention Bio for approximately $2.9 billion, adding a first-in-class therapy for type 1 diabetes to Sanofi’s core asset portfolio. This acquisition supports Sanofi’s strategic shift toward differentiated products, ensuring a stronger focus on the development of novel and specialized therapies for patients in need. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is currently taking more time to review the proposed merger between Sanofi and Provention, leading Sanofi to withdraw and refile its proposal. The FTC now has until the end of April 25 to make a decision, and Sanofi has extended its offer to buy all of Provention’s shares by six days to the end of April 26. Despite the delay, Sanofi still expects to close the deal in the second quarter of this year. The centerpiece of the deal, Tzield, is the first and only FDA-approved treatment to delay the onset of Type 1 diabetes, building on a previous co-promotion deal between the companies.
Sartorius acquires Polyplus for €2.4 billion (March 2023)
The German lab equipment maker Sartorius has acquired France-based Polyplus for around €2.4 billion ($2.6 billion) in March 2023. The deal combines the portfolios of both companies, optimizing the total process workflow and delivering value for cell/gene and DNA/RNA therapy customers. The acquisition could strengthen Sartorius’s activities supplying cell and gene therapy companies. The acquisition, executed through Sartorius’ French unit Stedim Biotech, combines the portfolios of both companies. It also could help optimize the total process workflow and support cell/gene and DNA/RNA therapy customers. The companies expect the deal to close during the third quarter of 2023. Polyplus, with locations in France, Belgium, the U.S. and China, projects to generate sales in the “upper double-digit million-euro range.”
Flamingo Therapeutics acquires Dynacure (March 2023)
In early March, Flamingo Therapeutics and Dynacure announced a merger focused on RNA therapeutics with potential clinical oncology indications. The combined company, which will retain the name Flamingo Therapeutics, will focus on advancing Flamingo’s asset danvatirsen in a phase 2 trial PEMDA-HN in head and neck cancer and IND-ready program targeting MALAT-1 (FTX-001) in oncology. The merger will bring together shared focus areas between Flamingo and Dynacure, including expertise in RNA-targeting and clinical drug development.
Radiopharm Theranostics purchases Pharma15 (March 2023)
Radiopharm Theranostics, an Australian radiopharmaceuticals developer, will acquire Pharma15 Corp., a private U.S.-headquartered firm developing next-generation therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals for prostate cancer, for $4 million. This acquisition will boost Radiopharm Theranostics’ portfolio and expand its capabilities in oncology.
AstraZeneca buys Cincor for almost $2B (January)
AstraZeneca has announced plans to acquire CinCor Pharma for up to $1.8 billion, causing CinCor’s share price to soar by 144%. The acquisition will strengthen AstraZeneca’s cardiorenal pipeline, as CinCor specializes in developing therapies for hypertension and chronic kidney disease. AstraZeneca agreed to offer of 26 per share or $1.3 billion, with an additional $10 per share after a specified regulatory filing related to CinCor’s drug candidate, baxdrostat, an aldosterone synthase inhibitor (ASI).