Pharmaceutical News: Pharmaceutical M&A in the Asia Pacific Region

Pharmaceutical M&A in the Asia Pacific Region

Slowing growth continues in major developed markets, prompted by generic erosion of branded sales and increasing regulatory and cost containment pressures. Expansion into emerging Asia Pacific (APAC) markets is appealing not only because of their rapid growth and sizeable patient populations, but also because operating environments are improving as these countries open up to global trade.

Features and benefits

* Overview of drivers, resistors and trends within the Asia Pacific M&A landscape.* Summary of geographic M&A activity on a regional and country-specific basis.* Analysis of the types of acquisitions and healthcare sectors targeted.* Examination of transaction values and leading dealmakers.


India, Japan and Australia all continued to record frequent deal activity, although China increased its lead in terms of total deal numbers in 2010 and early 2011. However, Chinese companies continue to focus primarily on domestic transactions.Japanese companies still account for the majority of M&A deal value. The first half of 2011 has already surpassed previous peak M&A deal values in APAC, continuing the annual upward trend seen in transaction values when outlying multi-billion dollar deals are excluded.While most M&As involving APAC-based players target pharmaceutical and biological products companies, such as generics and active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturers, medical devices and equipment firms have recently taken over as the leading sector targeted for M&A.

Research and Markets: France Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Report Q1 2012

Despite the government’s focus on fiscal consolidation – which includes various cost containment measures impacting the country’s healthcare and pharmaceutical spending – France will remain one of the most attractive pharmaceutical markets on a global scale. High usage of (especially patented) medicines on a per capita basis will continue to provide considerable commercial opportunities for multinational drug makers. While generic drugs will continue to increase their share of the total market’s value in the medium term, patented medicines are still expected to represent at least two-thirds the market by 2015, at a consumer price value of a significant EUR18.1bn (US$22.6bn).

Following cost-containment measures rolled out in 2010 and 2011, the authorities are poised to introduce further austerities in 2012. Proposed measures include savings of EUR910mn (US$1.23bn) achieved via price cuts on (mostly) generic medicines, and savings of EUR40mn (US$54mn) in reimbursement listings. The proposal sets the target annual growth in public expenditure on healthcare at 2.5% (from the previously proposed 2.8%) for each year from 2012 to 2015, which could see the pharmaceuticals industry more than EUR1bn worse off.

In October 2011, French pharmaceutical companies Servier and Hybrigenics signed a three year deal in the field of deubiquitinating enzymes to research first-in-class medicines to treat several diseases, particularly cancer. Under the licence and research collaboration agreement, Hybrigenics will get EUR4mn (US$5.5mn) from an up front fee and research funding, along with royalties on sales of diagnostic kits and EUR9.5mn (US$13.07mn) for each target successfully leading to registration.

Leading domestic drug producer Sanofi is expecting average annual growth of 5% from 2012- 2015, according to recent reports. The company aims to shift into new areas, including vaccines and animal health as sales of drugs like blood thinner Plavix (clopidogrel) and cancer drug Taxotere (docetaxel) are declining following the loss of patent protection. The company is also looking for extra cost savings of EUR2bn (US$2.8bn), as well as improving research and development capabilities to encourage sustainable growth.

Publication Overview:

Business Monitor International’s France Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Report provides industry professionals and strategists, corporate analysts, pharmaceutical associations, government departments and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on France’s pharmaceuticals and healthcare industry.

Astex Announces Early Transfer of Epigenetics Project to GSK

Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ASTX
-0.02% today announced that the multi-year collaboration to
discover cancer therapeutics based on epigenetic targets entered into by SuperGen, Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in November 2009 is terminating and existing research work and assets generated under the CLIMB(TM) epigenetic collaboration will be transferred to GSK. Astex will have no further obligation to conduct additional research work on the program. This decision follows on from the review and rationalization of Astex’s internal pipeline and drug discovery programs as part of the recent merger of Astex Therapeutics Limited and SuperGen, Inc. to form Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and discussions with GSK. As a result of the transfer, Astex will continue to be eligible to receive milestones and royalties under an asset transfer agreement. A separate Research and Development Collaboration and License Agreement which includes a multi-target drug discovery collaboration, entered into by Astex’s UK subsidiary, Astex Therapeutics Limited and GSK in November 2009 will continue as previously announced.

“The decision to transfer the CLIMB(TM) epigenetic program to GSK was based on our assessment of internal resources and discussions with GSK,” said Harren Jhoti, PhD, president of Astex Pharmaceuticals. “We continue to work closely with GSK on the discovery of molecules using our Pyramid(TM) fragment platform as part of our successful and ongoing collaboration against multiple targets of interest to GSK entered into in November 2009.”

About Astex Pharmaceuticals

Astex Pharmaceuticals is dedicated to the discovery and development of novel therapeutics with a focus on oncology. The Company is developing a proprietary pipeline of novel therapies and is creating de-risked products for partnership with leading pharmaceutical companies. Astex Pharmaceuticals developed Dacogen(R) (decitabine) for Injection and receives significant royalties on global sales.

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