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Datamonitor Big Pharma Licensing Trends, 2012-16

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March 08, 2017
This updated report was published by our sister product, Datamonitor Healthcare, and is available for purchase here. Subscribers of Datamonitor Healthcare can download this report for free by logging into the Datamonitor Healthcare website.

Between 2012 and 2016, Big Pharma – a peer set of approximately 16 firms across the world with large R&D and sales organizations, and annual revenues in excess of $10bn – signed over 1,200 drug-focused deals, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 12%. The top five dealmakers in terms of volume were AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Roche, Pfizer, and Merck & Co. Overall, Big Pharma represented the majority of the monetary value of all biopharma partnerships: the peer group was responsible for $151bn in deal-making during the five-year period out of the $287bn in all comparable biopharma alliances (including the Big Pharma peer set).

As of 2016, Big Pharma companies had approximately 337 candidates in the pipeline for cancer, which is well over two times that of any other therapeutic area. This was reflected in the peer set’s deal-making; between 2012 and 2016, about one-third of Big Pharma's in- and out- licensing deals were in oncology, and immuno-oncology was the key driver of oncology in-licensing. Big Pharma companies signed more alliances to bring early-stage candidates in-house than any other phase, and out-licensed more approved or marketed products. One-third of the total in-licensing deal volume involved regional partnering, while out-licensing was led by North American territories – namely the US – where development, commercialization, and research/discovery deal structures were more prominent than flat-out divestments. Both in- and out-licensing by Big Pharma reflected a collaborative nature, as development/co-development and research/discovery were the most commonly used deal structures in alliances.

The source for the deal data used in this report is Informa's Medtrack. In addition, Informa's Strategic Transactions was also referenced for background information on deals.

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