2008's Billion-dollar deals (H1)

The first half of 2008 has drawn to a close, with deal-making still on a roll. In the first six months of this year, companies inked six pacts--both buyouts and licensing deals--that exceed the billion-dollar mark. Novartis has the biggest buyout so far, diversifying with the purchase of eye care company Alcon. But Takeda takes the prize for the busiest drug developer; the Japanese company made inroads in the U.S market, which included massive buyout of Millennium and two big licensing deals with Amgen and Alnylam.

Of course, the second half of 2008 is off to a strong start, with Roche offering $44 billion for an increased stake in Genentech and GSK shelling out $3.25 billion to partner with Actelion on a new insomnia therapy. The Roche/Genentech deal could be the biggest of the year, but for now, check out this list of deals from the first half--and keep an eye out for more big moves from drug developers in 2008.

1. Novartis and Alcon - $39B

2. Takeda and Millennium - $8.8B

3. Daiichi and Ranbaxy - $4.6B

4. Genzyme and Isis - $1.9B

5. Amgen and Takeda - $1B

6. Takeda and Alnylam - $1B

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