Vantage Pharma, Biotech & Medtech Half-Year Review 2019

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Mega-deals mask a significant decline in M&A activity for pharma and medtech


The Vantage Half-Year Review 2019 summaries the most significant trends across pharma, medtech and biotech in the first half of 2019.

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s $74bn pending purchase of Celgene and Abbvie’s $63bn acquisition of Allergan have taken the headlines, positioning 2019 to be a record year for pharma M&A spend, while Verily’s $1bn round of funding in Q1 was the largest ever seen in the medtech.

However, these colossal deals are masking a substantial slowdown in the total number of M&A deals in both pharma and medtech, and pharma doubled down on this trend with a similar drop in licensing activity. Investors remain cautious due to potential US drug reforms and elsewhere the biotech boom appears to be over, except for a couple of isolated bubbles.

Report Highlights

  • 2019 set to be a record year for pharma M&A spend, but mega-deals mask wider drop in deal numbers
  • Verily’s $1bn round of funding in Q1 was medtech’s largest ever, but the sector also experienced substantial declining deal numbers.
  • Only 8 medtech companies went public during the first half of 2019, but collectively raised $1.3bn.
  • Q2 biotech flotations raised $2bn, as investor enthusiasm attracts younger drug developers away from traditional M&A and partnerships
  • Uncertainty around potential US drug price reform continues to be a significant investor concern

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