GSK deal chief hunts for 'hidden gems' to feed drug giant's pipeline

GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) descended upon the big J.P. Morgan meeting in solid numbers this week as the U.K. drug giant scouted for a variety of deals with other companies in the biopharma arena. And Dow Jones Newswires' Peter Loftus got a report from the front on GSK's business development activities.

"I'm sure deals will flow from the discussions we've had this week," Ian Tomlinson, GSK's head of business development and biopharma R&D, told Loftus.

The London-based drug company took about 50 employees to the conference and took hundreds of meetings with interest in a variety of deals on assets ranging from early-stage science to commercial products with other big companies, Tomlinson told the news wire reporter. And the GSK dealmaker was on the lookout for "hidden gems" among the droves of outfits seeking partnerships.

Glaxo, of course, was just one of many large players in the biopharma game with large groups at the J.P. Morgan meeting. What is perhaps important to note about the company is its apparently wide variety of interests—including assets in cancer, immunology, infectious diseases and respiratory ailments—and the multiple ways the company can do deals, with venture investments, licensing pacts and buyouts on the table.

- check out Loftus' piece