Top 20 Life Sciences Deals of 2018 Based on Total Deal Value

 Top 20 Life Sciences Deals of 2018 Based on Total Deal Value

Top 20 Life Sciences Deals of 2018 by Total Deal Value

Healthcare, pharmaceutical, and biotech companies are gearing up to tap new markets as they look to consolidate their positions after a spate of mergers & acquisitions and licensing partnerships in 2018. The highest valued deal proved to be of Takeda’s acquisition of Shire for $57B with the focus on global R&D, its robust and modality-diverse pipeline of oncology, GI, neuroscience, and rare diseases as well breakthrough innovations. The second-highest deal value was Sanofi’s acquisition of Bioverativ for $11B, strengthening Sanofi’s rare blood disorder pipeline. Additionally, Novartis and Celgene also ranked high with the acquisitions of AveXis and Juno, respectively. In H2’18, Novartis spun off Alcon, its ophthalmology division, for $5B. Merck also initiated the acquisition of Antelliq, an animal health company, to strengthen its digital monitoring technology portfolio based on what Antelliq had developed for animal health. This article is based on the 2018 deals data as provided by Chris Dokomajilar of DealForma. Our team at PharmaShots curated the top 20 deals in healthcare and life sciences.

Merrick Acquired AI Medical Systems

Deal Date – Oct 6, 2018

Deal Value – $2.32B

Merrick acquired AI Medical Systems for $2.32B. The acquisition complements Merrick’s current portfolio and broadens its software platform with the addition of artificial intelligence and machine learning software coupled with robotic hardware.

Servier Purchased Shire’s Global Oncology Business 

Deal Date – Apr 16, 2018

Deal Value – $2.40B

Servier purchased Shire’s global oncology business, including its marketed product ONCASPAR, ex-U.S. rights to ONIVYDE, certain early-stage pipeline drugs, and Calaspargase Pegol, which is currently under FDA review. Shire received a total deal value of $2.40B.

Fortive Purchased Ethicon’s Advanced Sterilization Products Business

Deal Date – Jun 6, 2018

Deal Value – $2.8B

Fortive acquired Ethicon’s Advanced Sterilization Products business for $2.8B.

Colfax Acquired DJO Global

Deal Date – Nov 19, 2018

Deal Value – $3.15B

Colfax acquiredDJO Global from Blackstone, a private equity firm managing DJO, for $3.15B. The acquisition was completed on February 25, 2018 and strengthened Colfax’s orthopedic solutions business. 

Sangamo’s Development and Commercialization Deal with Kite Pharma

Deal Date – Feb 22, 2018

Deal Value – $3.16B

Sangamo granted Kite Pharma rights to develop and commercialize next-generation ex-vivo cell therapies by using Sangamo’s zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) technology platform for cancer treatment. Kite will be responsible for all development, manufacturing, and commercialization of products under the collaboration, and it will also be accountable for expenses incurred by Sangamo. Sangamo received $150M up front and eligible to receive up to $3.01B in development, regulatory, and sales milestones across 10 or more products utilizing Sangamo’s technology, plus tiered royalties.

Merck Acquired Animal Health Monitoring Company Antelliq

Deal Date – Dec 14, 2018

Deal Value – $3.62B

Merck acquired Antelliq. The acquisition strengthened Merck’s digital monitoring technology portfolio with Antelliq’s animal health monitoring technology. Antelliq shareholders received $2.3B up front and $1.3B for Antelliq’s debt.

Nektar’s Development and Commercialization Deal with BMS for NKTR-214 with Opdivo and Yervoy

Deal Date – Feb 13, 2018

Deal Value – $3.63B

Nektar granted Bristol-Myers Squibb exclusive, worldwide rights to co-develop and commercialize its NKTR-214 in combination with Opdivo and Yervoy for the treatment of cancer. The companies will initially conduct a joint clinical trial of NKTR-214 with Opdivo and Opdivo plus Yervoy for more than 20 indications in 9 tumors. BMS would lead the commercialization of NKTR-214 in combination with Opdivo/Yervoy. Nektar received $1.85B up front, which includes $1B in cash and a purchas of 8,284,600 shares of Nektar common stock at $102.60 per share for approximately $850M. Nektar is eligible for up to $1.43B in development and regulatory milestones and up to $350M in sales milestones. Nektar will book sales of NKTR-214 as monotherapy, or in combination with a third-party medicine, and will keep 65% of profits (35% to BMS). BMS retained 100% of product revenues on its own medicines.

Dicerna’s Development and Commercialization Deal with Lilly for RNAi Based Drugs to be Discovered Using Dicerna’s GalXC RNAi Technology

Deal Date – Nov 29, 2018

Deal Value – $3.7B

Dicerna granted Lilly exclusive, worldwide right to develop and commercialize RNA interference (RNAi) based drugs for the treatment of cardio-metabolic, neurodegeneration, and pain targets using Dicerna’s GalXC RNAi technology platform. Dicerna received $100M up front, $100M in upfront equity, and is eligible for up to $350M in milestones per program for more than 10 programs, plus royalties.

P&G Acquired Merck KGaA’s Consumer Health Business 

Deal Date – Apr 19, 2018

Deal Value – $3.71B

Procter & Gamble purchased Merck KGaA’s consumer health business. Merck KGaA received EUR 3.4B ($3.71B) up front.

Boston Scientific Acquired BTG

Deal Date – Nov 20, 2018

Deal Value – $4.20B

Boston Scientific acquired BTG. The acquisition strengthened Boston’s peripheral intervention portfolio. BTG shareholders received $1.07 per share, or approximately $4.2B, which represented a 37% premium. The acquisition closed on August 19, 2019.

Sanofi Acquired Ablynx

Deal Date – Jan 29, 2018

Deal Value – $4.66B

Sanofi acquired Ablynx for EUR 3.9B ($4.8B) at EUR 45 per share in cash at a premium of 21%. Ablynx had a previous offer of EUR 2.6B from Novo Nordisk, which was rejected. Sanofi and Ablynx had partnered since July 2017 to find new treatments for inflammatory diseases. Ablynx’s lead product is caplacizumab for thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.

Novartis Spun-off Alcon

Deal Date – June 29, 2018

Deal Value – $5B

Novartis spun-off Alcon and funded it with a $5B share buyback through 2019.

Affimed’s Development and Commercialization Deal with Genentech for NK Cell Engager-Based Immunotherapeutics 

Deal Date – Aug 27, 2018

Deal Value – $5.1B

Affimed granted Genentech rights to develop and commercialize NK cell engager-based immuno-therapeutics for the treatment of multiple cancers using Affimed’s redirected optimized cell killing (ROCK) platform. Affimed received $96M up front and is eligible for up to $5B in milestones, plus royalties. 


Deal Date – Dec 3, 2018

Deal Value – $5.1B                                    

GlaxoSmithKline acquired TESARO for $75 per share in cash. The acquisition strengthened GSK’s oncology pipeline and commercial capabilities in oncology. TESARO shareholders received an aggregate cash consideration of roughly $5.1B (£4.0B). The acquisition price of $75/share represented a 110% premium to TESARO’s 30-day Volume Weighted Average Price of $35.67. The acquisition was completed on January 22, 2019.

Eisai’s Development and Commercialization Deal with Merck for Lenvima Monotherapy and Combination with Keytruda/Everolimus

Deal Date – Mar 7, 2018

Deal Value – $5.76B

Eisai granted Merck rights to co-develop and commercialize its oral, tyrosine kinase inhibitor Lenvima as a monotherapy and in combination with Keytruda/everolimus. Eisai is sponsoring the Phase III study of Lenvima with Keytruda or everolimus for renal cell carcinoma. Additionally, they are planning for 11 new indications and a basket trial targeting multiple cancers. Eisai will book sales worldwide and share costs and profits equally. Eisai received $300M up front, up to $650M for option rights through 2020, $450M as reimbursement for research and development expenses, and is eligible for up to $385M in clinical and regulatory milestones, and up to $3.97B in sales-based milestones.

Celgene Acquired Impact Biomedicines

Deal Date – Jan 7, 2018

Deal Value – $7B

Celgene acquired Impact Biomedicines. Impact shareholders received $1.1B upfront and are eligible to receive contingent payments of up to $1.4M upon regulatory approval and an additional $4.5B based on sales performance for cumulative sales between $1B and $5B. 

Novartis Acquired AveXis

Deal Date – Apr 9, 2018

Deal Value – $8.7B

Novartis acquired gene therapy company AveXis for $218 per share, or approximately $8.7B. AveXis’ compounds are based on its AAV9 gene therapy technology with its lead compound, AVXS-101, being developed for SMA at the time and became Zolgensma, plus others in development for Rett Syndrome. Novartis completed the acquisition on May 15, 2018.

Celgene Acquired Juno

Deal Date – Jan 22, 2018

Deal Value – $10.4B

Celgene acquired Juno Therapeutics for $9B. Previously, Celgene owned 9.7% of shares in Juno. The acquisition strengthened Celgene’s cellular immunotherapy portfolio.

Sanofi Acquired Bioverativ for $11.6B

Deal Date – Jan 22, 2018

Deal Value – $11.6B

Sanofi acquired Bioverativ for $11.6B at a premium of 64% to its January 19, 2018 closing price. The acquisition strengthened Sanofi’s rare blood disorders pipeline.

Takeda Acquired Shire

Deal Date – May 8, 2018

Deal Value – $57.17B 

Takeda acquired Shire. Shire shareholders received $30.33 in cash and either 0.839 new Takeda shares or 1.678 Takeda ADSs at a premium of 64.4%.

Vartika Singh

Vartika Singh is a content writer who loves to write research articles and reports at PharmaShots. She has in-depth knowledge of the life sciences industry including the Pharma and Biotech sectors. Any articles written by her can be contacted at

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