Thanks to deals signed on Monday alone, another $17 billion is set to change hands in the hyperacquisitive drug business, a single-day record that closes out a bracing quarter for buyouts. But with industry titans paying ever-higher prices for a shrinking number of assets, how long can the good times roll?
The big question of the day is whether the unprecedented bull market we've been seeing generate billions of dollars for biotech is sustainable or has transformed into a fragile bubble ready to pop. And we decided to put that question to our audience of subscribers, looking for a revealing snapshot of what the industry is thinking today.
Biogen Idec's decision to replace a group of 20 R&D staffers in chemistry and neurology wasn't the first internal staffing adjustment at the biotech trendsetter. Biogen Idec axed about 21 staffers last fall in a reorganization of clinical operations, R&D quality and compliance, according to sources close to the terminations. That move back in September/October was the first of two rounds of group firings in a quiet internal reorganization, raising concerns that more such department restructuring lies ahead.
Well over 300 responses have been gathered so far, which is not a bad beginning for our first survey.
A period of intense Big Pharma turmoil has failed to create a new normal that can offer investigators greater confidence that they'll be able to keep their jobs. And the disruption is continuing with a new wave of restructuring every bit as traumatic as the first tsunami of makeovers.
Even after the past two years of deals, AbbVie's decision to pay $21 billion for Pharmacyclics, bagging half interest in the blockbuster cancer drug Imbruvica, managed to get jaws to drop among even the most jaded biotech analysts.
Welcome to FierceBiotech Radio, a podcast in which we'll chat with industry experts, newsmakers and veterans on issues affecting the business of biopharma. The idea is to replicate the off-the-cuff encounters normally confined to insidery confabs, avoiding the dullness of hyperscripted earnings calls and technical webinars.
High-profile investment guru Neil Woodford has rolled out his $300 million investment vehicle in the U.K., looking to attract a host of small investors behind a publicly traded trust that has big plans for investing in a new wave of small biotechs.
Everybody sees something different when they look at Eli Lilly, which has recently dropped out of the top 10 pharma group. A number of analysts, some with good reason to shine up to CEO John Lechleiter, see a company that has hit bottom and is on the comeback trail, with new drug approvals to help bolster Lechleiter's bullish forecasts.
After seeing its reputation as a leader in multiple sclerosis erode over recent years, Merck KGaA has decided to carve back the number of staffers working in preclinical R&D in the field.