Biotech M&A frenzy shows no sign of slowing

With Genzyme in the news, we've all been hearing plenty about the wave of M&A deals  that's been rolling through the world's life sciences industry. Last year Thomson Reuters tracked more than 1,400 such deals worth $206 billion worldwide, giving the Boston Globe the hard numbers it needs to assert that this is one trend that has yet to crest.

The reasons are more than obvious at this stage of the consolidation game. Pharma companies are desperate for new products to replace those big earners losing patent protection. And a big tie-up with another company provides new technology, new markets and new hope for expansion--case that Wall Street analysts demand from any market player. It also doesn't hurt that the old blockbusters on the market now have ginned billions in revenue, giving Big Pharma the kind of big bucks needed to strike new deals.

Last year Boston recorded about $5 billion in buyout deals, says the Globe, including the Sepracor acquisition. Of course, that would just be a fraction of a potential merger between Sanofi and Genzyme, which is likely to fetch around $20 billion if both parties could ever agree on a price. So far this week, though, there's been little new from that front, as insiders have grown uncharacteristically mum about any back-and-forth.

- here's the Globe story