Thermo Fisher-Brammer deal could mean cheaper gene therapies

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Thermo Fisher Scientific’s acquisition of the viral vector maker Brammer Bio is, at $1.7bn, the second largest acquisition by a medtech company so far this year. With gene therapies making notable strides in recent years and developers getting to the point of needing to scale up production, adding Brammer Bio’s capabilities to Thermo Fisher’s pharma services business makes a good deal of sense. Brammer Bio makes various viral vectors used in gene therapy and claims that its business, which had revenues of $250m this year, is growing at a rate of more than 25% annually. As part of Thermo Fisher, the viral vectors business will have greater economies of scale and better access to capital than Brammer Bio could manage alone, which should make production cheaper for gene therapy companies that rely on contract manufacturing or will come to in the future. The cost of these therapies is a fraught issue, and Thermo Fisher’s shareholders will not be the only ones hoping that the deal plays out as expected.

Top 5 M&A of 2019 
Announcement date Acquirer Target Value ($m) Focus
February 13 Johnson & Johnson Auris Health 5,750 Orthopaedics
March 24 Thermo Fisher Scientific Brammer Bio 1,700 General hospital & healthcare supply
March 18 Novartis Powervision 285 Ophthalmology
March 14 Stryker Orthospace 220 Orthopaedics
March 8 Hill-Rom Voalte 195 Healthcare IT
Source: EvaluateMedTech.

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