The biopharmaceutical industry arguably continues to be one of the most dynamic industries for mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Compared to other industries, particularly the technology sector, pharmaceutical businesses close more deals and bigger transactions. The biopharma business model includes both mega-deals and bolt-on acquisitions, each of which are essential for accomplishing growth and gaining an edge over competitors. With the exception of times when many pharmaceuticals simultaneously reach the patent cliff, innovation in the pharmaceutical sector often happens slowly.
The drivers of M&A for biopharmaceutical companies
Every biopharmaceutical company wants to expand its operations. When there are few or no chances for organic expansion, M&A is a key tool for accomplishing growth. Drug companies can earn the amount of money required to support research and development (R&D) and the creation of novel medicines through mergers and more particularly, mega-deals. To build a significant portfolio of candidates, a biopharma company is thought to need to invest $2 billion to $4 billion per annum in R&D. Most pharmaceutical companies dedicate 20% of their overall income to research and development throughout the long run. Thus, for organic growth to be effective, a revenue stream of at least $10 billion is required.
Increasing generic and biosimilar rivalry, downward pricing strain, dwindling portfolios as a result of patent expirations or failure in R&D, and increasingly complicated regulatory requirements make it tougher to generate such amounts of money. Specifically for businesses with sizable financial reserves, M&A offers a way to tap fresh streams of revenue.
Additionally, a fast-growing portion of novel drug development is carried out by emerging and specialist biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies that are financed by venture capital (VC) or private equity (PE) firms. These businesses make excellent targets for big pharmaceutical corporations seeking to grow their supply chains and obtain access to cutting-edge technologies without having to make direct R&D investments. As an outcome, there has been a lot of M&A activity over the past few years.
The majority of substantial pharmaceutical firms outsource the administration of clinical trials as well as the production of commercial goods and trial supplies. This strategy does away with the necessity to invest in capital-intensive ventures that yield meagre returns. Contract research organisations (CROs) and contract development and manufacturing organisations (CDMOs), which are both vying to establish themselves as full-service, strategic suppliers, are consolidating as a result of the increased demand in outsourcing throughout the whole drug development cycle.
Implications of M&A in the biopharmaceutical industry
The highly dynamic character of the biopharmaceutical sector presently is reflected in the substantial amount of M&A. There are more and more biologics available. Blockbusters have been substituted with specialised medications that only treat certain groups of people with particular types of common ailments, like diabetes and breast cancer, or smaller populations with unusual illnesses. As medication development costs rise, consumers and governments are calling for lower drug prices. Low-cost generics and biosimilars are gaining ground, increasing the degree of rivalry for brand-name medicines.
Patients now have increased access to information and take an active role in making healthcare choices. Involved in the medication development process are philanthropic and disease-focused organisations of support. Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and natural language processing are just a few examples of technological advances that are enabling the study and integration of formerly unobtainable massive data sets. The knowledge gathered through these initiatives is being put to use in cutting-edge methods of medication development. The production and logistics infrastructure for future medications, such as cellular and genetic treatments, must change simultaneously.
Drug manufacturers must lower costs and boost efficiencies throughout all corporate functions to be competitive. Using asset exchanges and portfolio acquisitions, several companies have gotten rid of non-essential activities including animal health and over-the-counter (OTC) goods as well as clinical sectors where they possess little experience and few pipelines. Some have broken apart companies to give other divisions the chance to capitalise on their various capabilities.
These challenging circumstances are reflected in the substantial degree of M&A activity. Given the complicated and difficult situations that prevail currently, M&A are essential to the advancement of the biopharmaceutical industry and a key part of growth strategy.
Although M&A has been shown to have financial advantages, these deals do include a drawn-out procedure for administration that might increase costs. Additionally, they can lower staff satisfaction and interfere with production, R&D, and additional processes.
The secret is to approach M&A as a different type of business activity and offer professional assistance, either internally or by means of an outside service. Mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures can be facilitated through all stages of their life cycles by a committed group with understanding of not only regulatory needs but also standardised procedures and effective ways to consolidate. To reduce delays and hasten the process, this kind of multipurpose group ought to be capable of collaborating with any of the many people and organisations affected by deals. Support with data analysis can help create successful strategies for tactical expansion and discover prospects for divestments.