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Postcards from BIO: Observations on Start-Up Financing and Dealmaking

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

This year's annual Biotechnology Industry Organization was chock-full of angst, with biotech clearly in a contraction amid bankruptcies, scarce financing, and few exits in sight. START-UP was there to chronicle some of the technological and financial highlights, to gauge the pulse of industry, and to talk to a variety of biotech and pharmaceutical executives about the future of biotech dealmaking. Snapshots here include the unveiling of Adimab's platform, the NIH's new bridge funding option; and a positive message on anti-infectives development . More of our BIO coverage can be found on The IN VIVO Blog (http://invivoblog.blogspot.com).

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Start-Up Quarterly Statistics, Q2 2009

Highlights from the Q2 2009 review of start-up dealmaking: Fundraising in the biopharma, medical device, and in vitro diagnostics industries totaled $864 million--a 25% increase from Q1 2009--with most of the money, 54% or $465 million, coming out of the device industry, which saw only $127 million the previous quarter. There was one acquisition--PPD paid $14.5 million in cash for Magen BioSciences. In the most significant alliance, valued at up to $527 million, GSK got rights to three compounds from Concert Pharmaceuticals, including two in the preclinical stage, which was the most popular phase of development on Q2 alliances.

Start-Up Quarterly Statistics, Q2 2009

Highlights from the Q2 2009 review of start-up dealmaking: Fundraising in the biopharma, medical device, and in vitro diagnostics industries totaled $864 million--a 25% increase from Q1 2009--with most of the money, 54% or $465 million, coming out of the device industry, which saw only $127 million the previous quarter. There was one acquisition--PPD paid $14.5 million in cash for Magen BioSciences. In the most significant alliance, valued at up to $527 million, GSK got rights to three compounds from Concert Pharmaceuticals, including two in the preclinical stage, which was the most popular phase of development on Q2 alliances.

Merck's Head-long Leap into Follow-On Biologics

Merck outlined ambitious and capital-intensive plans for a biosimilars business at its annual investor day in early December. The company aims to leverage its 2006 acquisition of GlycoFi to launch six or more follow-on biologics between 2012 and 2017. The news shifts the Big Pharma in an entirely new direction, one that pharmaceutical companies--with the exception of Novartis AG's Sandoz division--have largely stayed away from.

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