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Updated: Dec 16, 2019

In every issue we look back over the previous 3 months and highlight the top M&As and appointments in the pharmaceutical industry.

Novartis Acquires Endocyte

On 18th October, Novartis announced an agreement to acquire Endocyte for $2.1 billion. The purchase of the US-based biopharmaceutical company, which focusses on the development of targeted therapeutics for cancer treatment, marks a further expansion into new technology platforms for Novartis; this has been a consistent theme under CEO Vas Narasimhan. Liz Barrett, CEO, Novartis Oncology, commented: “The announcement about the proposed acquisition of Endocyte builds on our growing capability in radiopharmaceuticals, which is expected to be an increasingly important treatment option for patients and a key growth driver for our business.”

Almirall Expands US Portfolio

Almirall completed their acquisition of Allergan’s US medical dermatology profile in September for a sum of $550 million. The portfolio includes an innovative new treatment for moderate-to-severe acne vulgaris called Seysara, which is expected to deliver peak sales of $150–200 million. “The acquisition of the Allergan medical dermatology portfolio, immediately accretive to our earnings, will reinforce and consolidate our position in the US, which represents the largest and most profitable derma market worldwide”, outlined Almirall CEO Peter Guenter. Since the deal was announced in early August, investors and analysts have raised the target price of Almirall’s shares on the stock market.

Mundipharma Adds to Biosimilars Portfolio

October also saw news of the purchase of biosimilars development company Cinfa Biotech by Mundipharma, substantially adding to their biosimilar platform. In a deal which saw them obtain 100% ownership from parent company Infarco, Mundipharma gained global rights to the Pegfilgrastim biosimilar Pelmeg, which has a potential global market worth $4.5 billion. President and CEO of Mundipharma, Alberto Martinez, said: “Our biosimilars platform is a key component of our growth strategy and today’s acquisition is the obvious next step in us ensuring we remain agile and innovative in the biosimilars space.”

Pfizer Elects New CEO

Albert Bourla has been unanimously elected as Pfizer’s new CEO by the company’s board of directors, a position he will officially take up from 1st January 2019. As announced on 1st October, Bourla, who is currently the COO at Pfizer, will replace Ian Read as CEO, who will become Executive Chairman of Pfizer’s Board of Directors. Commenting on his new position, Bourla said: “This is a dynamic time for Pfizer, and I look forward to working with our colleagues to deliver critical medicines to patients all over the globe, which remains the compass for all we do at Pfizer.”

Ferring Appoints Per Falk

Ferring have chosen Per Falk as President of the Executive Committee in addition to his current role as Chief Science Officer, effective from 1st January 2019. The appointment was made following the announcement that current President of the Executive Board and COO, Michel Pettigrew, will retire from his operational activities as of 31st December 2018. In a statement, Frederick Paulsen, Chairman of the Ferring Board of Directors, said: “I wish Per every success in his expanded leadership role. With his strong scientific and medical background, Per will lead Ferring with the Executive Committee to its next phase of growth and innovation.”

Alise Reicin Takes up Position at Celgene

Alise Reicin began her new role as President of Global Clinical Development on 1st November, a position in which she has responsibility for all aspects of mid-to-late stage clinical development across Celgene’s portfolio. She has also become part of the company’s Executive Committee. Alise’s previous role was at EMD Serono, the biopharmaceutical business of Merck KGaA, where she was Senior Vice President and Head of Global Clinical Development in R&D. “Led by Alise, our clinical development organisation will be structured to more completely align with our strategy and mission to discover, develop, and commercialise innovative therapies for patients with unmet needs”, stated Mark Alles, Chairman and CEO of Celgene Corporation.

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