Old #Pharma M&A's Drive Increased Cancer Drug Profitability | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

After decades in which progress meant extending life by weeks or months, new cancer treatments hold promise of adding years to patients' lives and billions of dollars in revenue to the companies that own them. Some of the most promising, known as immunotherapy, harness the body's own defense system to fight cancer.


For many pharmaceutical companies, this wave of innovation couldn't have come at a better time. A generation of mainstay drugs have gone off patent, raising the stakes for companies vying for a foothold in the burgeoning oncology market.

In recent months, executives at many big pharmaceutical companies have expressed interest in building cancer treatment portfolios through acquisitions.


They range from well-established incumbents, such as Roche Holding AG and Amgen Inc, to relative outsiders, including Sanofi and Gilead, according to public statements from the companies and several sources familiar with the companies plans and who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.


The acquisition of promising cancer drugs is "going to be a major theme in the life sciences sector for the next several years," said Kennen MacKay, a biotechnology analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG.


Acquisitions of cancer drug companies accounted for about 20 percent of the $63 billion in pharmaceutical and biotech M&A announced this year, according to data from Thomson Reuters. Cancer deals accounted for a smaller share - 16 percent - of a larger pharmaceutical M&A pie during the first half of 2015.

That makes oncology medication to be one of the single biggest anticipated drivers of prescription drug revenue growth over the next five years, according to data from consultancy Ernst and Young.