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The path of spin-offs from loss-making biotech companies with weak investment propositions seems clouded with examples that often resulted in an appointment with the liquidator.
Deals announced by Sanofi and Novartis at this year’s virtual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference and a smattering of full-year revenue preannouncements did not mark a bumper start to the year.
A positive start to the year for healthcare stocks was accompanied, as usual, by drug price increases. This and the other issues that have been carried over from 2020 remain just as challenging.
Agios’s divestment of its oncology pipeline and commercial operations provided a rare case where all parties appeared satisfied. In many other cases, there are winners and losers.
The acquisitions of Alexion and Celgene are the latest in a long line of transactions in which big pharma buys big biotech. But these latest two are of biotechs that have disappointed their investors, and there are still some of those left for 2021.
It is hard enough speeding novel vaccines against novel pathogens to global markets whilst balancing profit imperatives with societal benefit. Political interventions have the potential to introduce additional friction.
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