Of the 160 biopharma deals tracked by BioWorld during the month of April, 36% are for collaborations focusing on the development of therapeutics and vaccines for COVID-19.
The transactions brought $13.5 billion into the biopharma industry, representing 23% of the number completed throughout 2020 and 24% of the total value for the year. Including 82 deals in May, there have been 707 deals in 2020 valued at $56.09 billion. Overall, the volume and the value of deals are in line with the rest of the year.
Partnerships seeking answers to the globally disruptive SARS-CoV-2 pandemic are valued at about $1.12 billion during the month. The 58 deals include four with significant money. Edesa Biotech Inc. is developing and commercializing Light Chain Bioscience’s drug candidates for COVID-19 pneumonia in a deal worth $372 million, while Vir Biotechnology Inc. is working with Samsung Biologics Co. Ltd. for manufacturing services for VIR-7831 and VIR-7832 against COVID-19. That deal is worth $362 million. Vir also has a $250 million partnership with Glaxosmithkline plc to research and develop the same products. Finally, Johnson & Johnson signed on with Emergent Biosolutions Inc. for $135 million to manufacture its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
The largest deal during April was between J&J’s Janssen Biotech Inc. and Fate Therapeutics Inc. worth $3.1 billion to globally develop chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) natural killer and CAR T-cell product candidates for up to four tumor-associated antigens for hematologic malignancies and solid tumors.
Two other biopharma deals fell into the billion-dollar range in April. Blackstone Life Sciences agreed to acquire Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s royalties for inclisiran for $1.9 billion, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Affinia Therapeutics Inc. signed on for a $1.6 billion worldwide partnership to discover and develop adeno-associated virus (AAV) capsids to deliver genetic therapies.
Gilead/Forty Seven tops April M&As
In total, 8 biopharma M&As in April accounted for $7.3 billion, which is 21% of the total number of M&As so far in 2020 and about 14% of the total value. Including three in May, there have been 39 M&As in 2020 valued collectively at $52.53 billion.
The largest M&A completed during the month of April was Gilead Sciences Inc.’s buyout of Forty Seven Inc. for $4.9 billion. UCB SA also acquired Ra Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $2.27 billion. A few smaller M&As included Horizon Therapeutics plc’s purchase of Curzion Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $45 million and Astellas Pharma Inc.’s acquisition of Nanna Therapeutics Ltd. for $85.86 million including milestones. Financials for the rest of the M&As during the month were undisclosed.
Biopharma financings data for 2020 through May 21 can be found here: