PharmaVentures’ Industry Insight: We predict that licensing and partnering activity will remain steady in 2020

As we all know deal making is the life and blood of the biopharma industry and today this activity is truer than ever. In my experience of thirty years in deal making, companies who were most active and persistent in their deal making activity through both ups and downs tend to be more successful. An analysis of licensing after the 2007/8 crash shows that sentiment was shared by the industry as there was little let up in both the number of deals done and the upfront values negotiated. In fact, licensing has brought the biggest rewards to the most active licensors and licensees. Significant research has been funded by both venture capital and pharma licensing deals over the past 30 years which has given rise to significant breakthroughs in treatments for the greatest areas of unmet clinical need. The pipelines of pharma rely more than ever on innovation coming from smaller venture-backed biotech companies. This significant and diverse resource from biotech companies of patented technologies and products provides the lowest form of risk for the larger pharma companies building their vital clinical pipelines.

As drug development is a long-term effort pharma companies realise that their future superior commercial position and competitiveness in the post-pandemic market will be based on the deals they do today and not the ones they have delayed to tomorrow. They understand that delaying decisions on opportunities will only allow their competitors to seize the best ones. Additionally, they realise delaying will eat into the valuable patent lifetime and the consequent loss of revenue of these technologies and products.

Most biotech companies understand that stalling their out-licensing activities will result in their products losing their innovative appeal and become less attractive to pharma companies and at best be placed at the back of the line when they eventually go out to partner. The resulting lack of interest from pharma could impede further rounds of equity investment as these often go hand-in-hand.

We are currently running over 20 licensing and M&A mandates on behalf of clients and have seen continued activity across the board. This is because our industry is truly global, and we are used to working as teams across significant distances and time zones. With advances in communication technology lockdowns and working from home should not impede our ability to do deals as a significant part of the processes and analytics are done virtually these days or are outsourced to specialized advisors. Those that continue dealing making will be in pole position to be successful.


About PharmaVentures

PharmaVentures is a premier transaction advisory firm; a world leader in partnering, M&A deals and strategic alliances. For the past 28 years, PharmaVentures has acted as advisor on over 700 deal related projects covering licensing, mergers, acquisitions, divestments and joint venture activities for companies world-wide.

Our unrivalled bank of specialist experience, deal analytics and network of contacts among innovators and large pharma makes us uniquely placed to support your business in all aspects of deal making and strategic planning. PharmaVentures is well known for its deep insight into deal structures and its success for generating partnering interest.

Our services include:

– M&A (divestments, mergers, acquisitions and strategic transactions)

– Strategy (commercialisation, deal strategy, due diligence, market entry)

– Valuation and Positioning (licensing, M&A, fund raising & expert testimonies)

– Licensing (in and out licensing)

– Expert Testimony (patent infringement, deal disagreements, taxation, determining damages)

– Fundraising

PharmaVentures is based in Oxford, UK, and employs over 20 professionals and has associates in N. America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific.

For further information, contact:

Dr Fintan Walton, CEO

PharmaVentures Ltd

T: +44 1865 332 700


PharmaVentures advises Vital Foods on the sale of its Zyactinase-based digestive health product asset portfolio to Mundipharma.

Oxford, England, 6th September 2018

PharmaVentures Ltd (“PharmaVentures”) is pleased to announce that it acted as exclusive adviser to Vital Food Processors Ltd (“Vital Foods”), an agricultural science company founded in New Zealand, on an asset purchase agreement with Mundipharma for the global rights beyond New Zealand to commercialise Zyactinase™ – a clinically-proven gastrointestinal consumer health product.

Zyactinase™is the basis of market leading, natural, plant-based consumer health products for the promotion of digestive health.  Zyactinase™ is a freeze-dried extract of Kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) that has been developed as a constipation relief product as well as for long-term gut health. It contains a protease complex, fiber, pectin and fructo-oligosaccharides that stimulates increased bowel movements.

Under the agreement, Mundipharma will initially focus on the commercialising of Zyactinase™ to establish a foothold in the US and Canada markets, while continuing to supply existing partners. It will then look to expand its marketing and distribution footprint globally.

This agreement will also enable the extension of the company’s Senokot®product range in the US, which is also an all natural, clinically proven digestive health supplement for the treatment of constipation. (see

Adrian Dawkes, Managing Director, who led the deal at PharmaVentures, commented; “The consumer health space has seen significant deal activity recently and, not surprisingly, there was a lot of interest in Vital Foods’ assets. We are delighted to have been able to secure this deal with Mundipharma who are ideally placed to maximise the potential of Zyactinase”.

Fintan Walton, Founder and Chief Executive of PharmaVentures said; “We are particularly pleased to have brought PharmaVentures’ broad experience and skills to bear in another cross-border deal where the pairing of high-quality assets from Vital Foods with an ideal acquirer in Mundipharma has resulted in an excellent outcome for all”.


PharmaVentures advises SalvaRx Group plc on the acquisition of SalvaRx Ltd by Portage Biotech Inc.

Oxford, UK, 20 August 2018

PharmaVentures Ltd. (“PharmaVentures”) is pleased to announce that it acted as an independent adviser to SalvaRx Group plc (SALV:LSE) (“SalvaRx”) and Portage Biotech, Inc (“Portage”), on the acquisition of its subsidiary SalvaRx Ltd by Portage. Subject to regulatory and shareholder consent, Portage will acquire 100% of SalvaRx Limited for an aggregate consideration of US$71.7 Million. 

SalvaRx is a related party of Portage, the transaction is subject to the requirements of Alberta Securities Commission’s Multilateral Instrument 61-101 Protection of Minority Shareholders in Special Transactions (“MI 61-101”). As a consequence, the Transaction requires minority shareholder approval.

Although the transaction is exempt from the formal valuation requirements of MI 61-101 pursuant to Section 5.5(a) PharmaVentures was commissioned by SalvaRx and Portage to perform an independent valuation (the “Valuation”) of SalvaRx Limited. The Valuation, dated July 23, 2018, provided the parties with, amongst other things, a discussion of various methodologies to value SalvaRx Limited as well as a range of possible values.

For more information see the Portage Biotech press release:

Adrian Dawkes, Managing Director, PharmaVentures, commented; “We have worked previously with SalvaRx and were pleased to provide our extensive valuation capabilities and market knowledge to assist in this transaction”.

Fintan Walton, Founder and Chief Executive of PharmaVentures said; “PharmaVentures is trusted by long established pharmaceutical companies, governments as well as innovative biotechs like SalvaRx to provide high quality, robust and comprehensively researched valuations to support their key strategic transactions. We are pleased to have assisted SalvaRx in their endeavors”. 

PharmaVentures Strengthens Its First-Class Strategy Consulting & Dealmaking Capabilities

PharmaVentures strengthens its first class healthcare strategy and dealmaking capabilities with the recruitment of a new Vice President, Ashley Cox.

Ashley has built significant industry experience working directly for a number of pharmaceutical companies, undertaking both Project Execution and Business Development activities.  Most notably, she has worked for firms such as Lundbeck, Teva and Glenmark, where she led business development and sales activities across a wide range of products and services.

Fintan Walton, PhD, Chief Executive of PharmaVentures, said: “We are delighted to welcome Ashley to PharmaVentures. She has an impressive track record in healthcare strategy consulting and dealmaking. Her wealth of experience will add significant value to our clients in their dealmaking and commercial strategy activities”.


Most recently, Ashley worked with SmartAnalyst, Inc., as the Senior Director, European Business Development supporting Global Pharmaceutical and Biotech clients in their disease, asset and portfolio strategy development. Previously, Ashley was Head of Global Business Development for the Prescient Healthcare Group, with a strong focus on Competitive Intelligence and Business Analytics.  Ashley has supported decision making in the majority of the top 20 pharma companies and many biotech companies. She started her career as a Medical Representative and has held a variety of commercial and licensing roles across the pharmaceutical and generics sectors.

Ashley received a BSc. (Hons). in Neuroscience from the University of Glasgow and a Masters in Pharmaceutical Analysis from the University of Strathclyde.