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