Lilly CEO Lechleiter joins the busy buyside in biotech

Lilly CEO John Lechleiter

Eli Lilly ($LLY) CEO John Lechleiter counts himself as a buyer in a busy M&A market. Lechleiter recently pointed to animal health as well as key therapeutic areas like neurosciences, diabetes and cancer, according to a report from Reuters. And he's likely to have plenty of competition on the bidder side of the M&A game this year. Roger Perlmutter at Merck ($MRK) pointed to early-stage therapies as a likely target while Teva's ($TEVA) new CEO wasted no time in pinning down his first buyout. "I think deal making this year will be even better because there was a lot of validation last year," Joseph Gulfo, chief executive officer at Breakthrough Medical Innovations, tells Reuters. "The new discoveries and data have sparked a tremendous amount of interest from the bigger companies." Of course, every year starts out with some boom projections at the annual J.P. Morgan conference in San Francisco. Story