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Thermo-Life deal highlights pharma absence from diagnostics M&A

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

Thermo Fisher’s offer to acquire Life Technologies Corp for around $13.8 billion made on 15 April underlines the apparent distance between the pharmaceutical industry and the diagnostic arena. Thermo Fisher is a scientific equipment supplier and has picked up part of the leading edge of sequence-based diagnostics. It offered $76 per share for Life, making the acquisition worth twice what Roche – surely the most diagnostically oriented pharma company - offered for another sequencing firm, Illumina, a year ago. So when will pharma get more involved? A recent white paper from Citeline suggests that diagnostic consolidation may be a transitional phase during which enlargement and tool-kit refinement occurs, creating precursors companies that are more rounded and perhaps ready for acquisition by pharma.

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