Pharmaceutical Industry Licensing Deals Soared to Record $46.2 Billion in 2015

Licensing deal values in the pharmaceutical industry rose by 37.1% year-to-year, from $33.7 billion in 2014 to $46.2 billion in 2015, driven primarily by Sanofi, which struck three licensing deals that totaled nearly $9 billion, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.

In the company’s latest whitepaper, Pharmaceutical Sector Brief – Pharma Licensing Values Soar to New Levels, Gianfranco Zeppetelli, GlobalData’s Deals Analyst, explains “Sanofi inked two key partnerships for metabolic indications, the first of which was a $4.3-billion partnership with South Korea’s Hanmi Pharma. Sanofi gained exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize three pipeline products for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Sanofi also made a $1.7-billion agreement with Lexicon Pharma to manufacture and sell sotagliflozin (LX-4211), an investigational oral dual inhibitor of SGLT-1 and SGLT-2 currently in Phase III development.”

GlobalData’s whitepaper states that there has been a surge in investment of deals in the Immuno-Oncology (I-O) space over the past 5 years, as immunotherapies have advanced significantly, becoming the pillar of cancer treatment. In the I-O space, Sanofi signed a $2.7-billion deal to co-develop Regeneron’s REGN-2810, a programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) inhibitor currently in Phase I testing.

Another important I-O partnership was Pfizer’s $2.9-billion agreement with Merck KGaA to develop and commercialize avelumab (MSB-0010718C), an investigational anti-PD-L1 monoclonal antibody in Phase II development as a potential treatment for multiple metastatic and advanced solid tumors, including breast and prostate cancer. Under the terms of the agreement, Merck KGaA will receive an upfront payment of $850 million and is eligible to receive regulatory and commercial milestone payments of up to approximately $2 billion.

Zeppetelli continues “Pharma companies are adapting to current market dynamics and positioning themselves for growth through portfolio transformation, targeted deal-making, cost-cutting measures, and sharpening their focus on high-performing therapeutic areas, and geographic markets. We believe deal prices will continue to rise in 2016, as many big pharma companies look to increase their market share in specific therapeutic areas against their competitors.”

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