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GEN reports on biotech acquisition deals in 2010 that topped $1 billion

New Rochelle, NY, January 10, 2011The mega-mergers of 2009 did not continue into 2010. While the three biggest acquisitions in 2009 each had a price tag of more than $40 billion, only last year's top purchase got above that mark, according to an evaluation of reported deals conducted by Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN) ( The only other mega takeover for the year, sanofi-aventis' move to buy Genzyme, is still being worked out.

A look at 2010's buyouts that crossed the $1billion mark ( reveals interesting similarities with major acquisitions from past years. Prior finalists make a repeat appearance, and most organizations that have reported consolidation say that the mergers have been positive.

"I think the uncertainty surrounding the sanofi-aventis/Genzyme story put a break on the number of large mergers and acquisitions that might actually have taken place," says John Sterling, Editor in Chief of GEN. "Once that deal gets done, other big M&As are likely to follow."

Novartis' $41 billion purchase of Alcon, which has a significant portfolio of eye disease therapies, topped the list of acquisitions last year. Sanofi-aventis' bid for Genzyme of $18.5 billion, which still has to clear, grabbed the number two spot. Merck's foray into life science tools and services with its $5.2 billion acquisition of Millipore was next, followed by Teva paying 3.625 billion for ratiopharm to up its generic drug dominance.

Fifth place went to Astellas Pharma for picking up OSI Pharmaceuticals for $4 billion. Pfizer, 2009's top bidder, made the number six spot with its takeover of King Pharmaceuticals for $3.6 billion. Other acquisition deals that crossed the billion-dollar mark included Grifols/Talecris, Celgene/Abraxis, Thermo Fisher Scientific/Dionex, and Johnson & Johnson/Crucell.


Contact: John Sterling
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

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