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Pfizer Tops the List As Big Pharma Turns to Acquisitions As Its Preferred Growth Track

Pfizer tops the list as big pharma turns to acquisitions as Its Preferred Growth Track [The Day, New London, Conn.]

From Day, The (New London, CT) (December 11, 2010)

Dec. 11--Deals have replaced drugs as a way to grow pharmaceutical businesses, and no company has topped Pfizer Inc. so far this year in the number of mergers and acquisitions.

The biomedical data tracker Life Science Analytics reported this week that pharmaceutical deals as of October were up 20 percent over the same period last year. Pfizer, with 51 deals, currently leads the pack, but Sanofi-Aventis and Novartis are not far behind.

Most of the deals, according to the blog FiercePharma, were accomplished "in the name of combating the ongoing loss of sales to new generic versions of blockbuster meds."

Pfizer, which has major research-and-development sites in Groton and New London, held the line on megamergers similar to last year’s buyout of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, focusing instead on smaller deals.

Among the most noteworthy were its proposed acquisition of King Pharmaceuticals for $3.6 billion, a $240 million partnership with Brazil-based Laboratorio Teuto Brasileiro S.A. and agreements to market products manufactured by three Indian generics firms: Strides Arcolab, Aurobindo Pharma Ltd. and Claris Lifesciences Ltd.

Pfizer also sought, without success, to buy German generics manufacturer Ratiopharm.

Sarah Terry, president of Life Science Analytics, said in a statement that the increased interest in deals also has been motivated by a search for new markets and efforts to diversify into generic drugs and biologic medicines.

Top areas for dealmakers were cancer treatments, 24 percent; infectious diseases, 18 percent, and central nervous system medicines, 14 percent.

The most noteworthy change in the line-up of dealmakers, according to Terry, was Sanofi-Aventis’ move from 14th on the list last year to second this year.

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Posted: December 2010