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Factbox: Who is next in big pharma's merger spree?

Factbox: Who is next in big pharma's merger spree?
FILE PHOTO: A sign marks a Biogen facility in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S. January 26, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo -
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Brian Snyder(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Consolidation in the U.S. healthcare industry, which has already witnessed a string of multi-billion dollar deals, is expected to remain a major theme for the rest of 2019.

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s <BMY.N> $74 billion (£60.9 billion) acquisition of Celgene set the M&A ball rolling in January, and was followed by AbbVie Inc’s <ABBV.N> $63 billion bid for troubled smaller rival Allergan Plc <AGN.N>.

Regulators are pressuring companies to cut drug costs and takeovers have become the preferred method of combating looming patent expiries on some of the top-selling medicines they have relied upon in recent years.

Following is a list of big healthcare companies and their recent deals and possible future acquisitions.

BIOGENINC <BIIB.O>:

- Since the halt in its development of a promising Alzheimer’s therapy wiped $18 billion off Biogen’s stock in March, Wall Street has been calling on the company to beef up its drug development pipeline through acquisitions.

- Possible deals would give the company access to drugs for lucrative therapeutic areas such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy and depression.

- Recent deal was the $877 million buyout of gene therapy developer Nightstar Therapeutics, and as of June 30 the company still had cash reserves of almost $2 billion.

ELILILLYAND CO <LLY.N>:

- Lilly spun off its animal health unit earlier this year, and has reiterated its commitment to making bolt-on acquisitions to diversify its portfolio, as its long-term top-sellers Humalog and Cialis face intensifying competition.

- Company has also been focusing on cancer drug development and its $8 billion buyout of Loxo Oncology helped it delve deeper into the lucrative business.

- The company reported $2.29 billion in cash and cash equivalents as of June 30.

PFIZERINC <PFE.N>:

- The world’s largest drugmaker has repeatedly said it would steer clear of large scale M&A, citing confidence in its own drug pipeline. But in April it said it would look at bolt-on deals worth “a few” billion dollars to complement its pipeline

- The spin-off and merger of its consumer healthcare unit with GlaxoSmithKline Plc <GSK.L>, as well as its off-patent branded drugs business has simplified the company’s business structure.

- Analysts say that may still leave room for smaller deals like its $10.6 billion buy of Array Biopharma, which boosted its arsenal of oncology drugs and set the stage for the company to become a leader in colon cancer treatments.

- Shares of the company are down 20.6% so far this year.

AMGENINC <AMGN.O>:

- A recent U.S. court ruling win on Amgen patents for rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel is seen as having left the company free to pursue business development plans, including M&A.

- The drugmaker said previously it would look for both big and small deals to push deeper into areas like cancer and metabolic disorders, where it already has a firm footing.

- Analysts have also suggested buying Celgene Corp’s <CELG.O> psoriasis drug Otezla, which Bristol-Myers Squibb Co <BMY.N> is looking to sell in order to allay antitrust concerns.

- Amgen had $5.53 billion in cash and cash equivalents as of June 30. Shares of the company are up nearly 5% this year.

MERCK & CO INC <MRK.N>:

- Investors have raised concerns about Merck’s <MRK.N> increasing dependence on blockbuster cancer drug Keytruda, highlighting the need for the drugmaker to engage in M&A.

- The company has said it would focus on bolt-on deals rather than a large, transformative acquisition.

- War chest stood at $6.7 billion in cash and cash equivalents, as of June 30 with shares up nearly 11.3% this year.

GILEADSCIENCESINC <GILD.O>:

- CEO Daniel O’Day has raised expectations for consolidation since taking the helm in March, prioritising pipeline diversification and announcing a $5.1 billion investment in Belgo-Dutch biotech Galapagos NV <GLPG.AS>, which pushed deeper into areas such as fibrosis and arthritis.

- California-based Gilead had cash and cash equivalents of $11.24 billion as of June 30. Shares up about 1% this year.

For an interactive graphic, click here https://tmsnrt.rs/2NkQkQX

(This story has been refiled to correct spelling of Gilead in subheading)

(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla and Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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