Deals and more deals

The surge in values for biotech buyouts this past year has recalibrated quite a few business plans. Just yesterday GlaxoSmithKline willingly put down twice the value of Praecis stock to lock up the buyout. That was just a small deal when compared to the recent buyout of Domantis. These days, when a big pharma company wants to find impressive new therapies it can tout to analysts, it goes straight to biotechnology. That can also lead to big licensing deals, like the record $2.1 billion pact for GebMab's HuMax-CD20, and it can mean a brand new way to evaluate the way biotech companies are worth.

If anything, the pace of deal-making is just likely to keep growing in 2007, at least in the early part of the year. Big drug companies like Merck, Glaxo and Pfizer will have to do quite a lot to convince market analysts that they're positioned to replace blockbusters coming off of patent. And what better way to do that than buy up innovative companies like Domantis (a 2006 Fierce 15 company). Big Pharma has the money and biotech has the innovation; it's a perfect match.