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Janel Firestein Interviewed on Q3 Life Sciences News

October 16, 2019 | Durham, NC

Partner Janel Firestein was interviewed on the most impactful pharma news in the third quarter of 2019. An excerpt from the interview and a link to the full article from Investing News are included below. 

In an interview with INN, Janel Firestein, life sciences industry lead and partner with Clarkston Consulting, said that unlike the previous two quarters, M&A activity was drastically down during the quarter.

“The slowdown in the M&A activity that occurred here in Q3 (caught my attention),” she said.

Firestein highlighted the pending closure of Roche’s (OTCQX:RHHBY) acquisition of Spark Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ONCE).

“There’s some question around (that deal) closing potentially,” she said.

Several times throughout the quarter, the companies announced an extension to the US$4.3 billion acquisition. The latest came at the end of September, putting the number of extensions to seven as US and British regulators continue to question Roche’s acquisition of Spark Therapeutics.

That being said, Roche has not disclosed why the US Federal Trade Commission won’t sign off on the deal.

On the other hand, Samuel Macleod, senior healthcare analyst at GlobalData, told INN that activity in the pharma industry still remains fairly vibrant and that it will be an area that will continue to rake in M&A activity into the future.

“This is mainly owing to the fact that Big Pharma has a track record of making deals with companies that have a focus on highly specialized biologics and and other high value therapies,” Macleod explained.

Macleod provided examples such as Takeda Pharmaceuticals’ (NYSE:TAK) acquisition of Shire, which closed at the start of the year, and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s (NYSE:BMY) still pending acquisition of Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG) — which has also been extended — as the type of deals that are becoming more common.

“(These deals are) signalling a new strategy in which they call capitalizing the strengths of other companies in order to overcome barriers to financial success,” Macleod said. “That’s been a bit of a trend.”

A report from Evaluate Pharma said that there were only 36 acquisitions done in Q3 and that the total valuation of M&A activity during the quarter was the lowest seen since 2013.

Despite the slow quarter, however, Evaluate Pharma says that 2019 has been the most robust year for M&A activity since 2015.

Read the full article here