Consolidation in diagnostics continues apace, with Diasorin SpA set to take over Luminex Corp. in an all-cash deal that values the multiplex diagnostics and molecular testing specialist at $1.8 billion. At $37 per share, the price is a 23% premium to the Luminex (NASDAQ:LMNX) share price on Feb. 23, which is when rumors of the acquisition began to circulate, and 12% above the close last Friday, April 8.
With less uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, the biopharma industry appears on track to shift efforts back to its internal programs and possibly meet, if not exceed, the record-breaking deal level of 2020. Strong financial markets, however, may continue to hold M&As down.
Microsoft Corp. will purchase Nuance Communications Inc. for $19.7 billion in cash in a move that demonstrates a massive commitment to building out the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare reported in late 2020. The acquisition, which is expected to close by the end of 2021, doubles the Redmond, Wash.-based company’s total addressable market in the health care provider space, bringing it to nearly $500 billion. The size of the transaction is notable even for a company with the active acquisition history of Microsoft.
LONDON – C4X Discovery Holdings plc has out-licensed its preclinical oral interleukin-17 (IL-17) inhibitor to Sanofi SA in a potential €414 million (US$493.4 million) deal. Under the terms of the agreement, Sanofi is paying €7 million up front and a further €11 in short-term preclinical milestones, with the balance to follow on reaching development, regulatory and commercialization milestones.
In a move that Sanofi SA said will bring it an mRNA-based research platform with applications in oncology, immunology and other diseases, the company has acquired Tidal Therapeutics Inc. for $160 million up front and up to $310 million in milestone payments. The preclinical startup, led by Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Torque Therapeutics Inc. co-founder Ulrik Nielsen, is based in Cambridge, Mass.
While strong financial markets could create merger and acquisition headwinds for med tech, the volume of both M&As and deals are rising above each of the prior three years, indicating a growing industry interest that is not always clear in the financials.
Companion diagnostics-focused Celcuity Inc. CEO Brian Sullivan said the deal with Pfizer Inc. for rights to pan-PI3K/mTOR inhibitor gedatolisib was “an organically developed opportunity, because of the research we had done on gedatolisib” in the course of investigating PI3K inhibitors. “We hadn’t shifted our strategy and said, ‘Oh, let’s start in-licensing drugs.’”
The FDA has its hands full with the impact of the mutations to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but test developers can count on an ever-increasing base of data for those viruses thanks to a new contract taken by the CDC. The CDC indicated recently that its sequencing efforts and that of other organizations churned out nearly 14,000 sequences for the week of April 3, but Aegis Sciences Corp., of Nashville, Tenn., announced April 7 that it had undertaken an agreement to perform next-generation sequencing of samples from all 50 states and Puerto Rico, ensuring plenty of access to up-to-date information on those mutations.
Hologic Inc. is tucking in yet another diagnostics manufacturer, this time with the acquisition of Mobidiag Oy for approximately $795 million. The privately held Finnish-French company develops and markets polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based tests for acute care testing such as gastrointestinal and respiratory infections, antimicrobial resistance management and health care-associated infections.