The 5 Largest Life Science M&A Deals of 2023

Despite uncertainties continuing from 2022 into 2023, the year saw a wide range of deals take place spanning across the industry. This article will highlight the top 5 deals that were completed throughout 2023.

5. Biogen and Reata Pharmaceuticals

Deal value: USD 7.3 billion

Date completed: July 2023

Biogen emerged victorious in a bidding war for clinical-stage biopharma Reata Pharmaceuticals, purchasing the company at USD 172.50 giving a total of USD 7.3 billion. The deal now gives Biogen access to Skyclarys, a drug used to treat Friedrich’s ataxia that saw FDA approval in February and EMA approval in December.

4. Roche and Telavant

Deal value: USD 7.3 billion

Date completed: October 2023

Formerly owned by Roivant Sciences, Roche announced in October that it had entered an agreement to buy Telavant in a deal worth USD 7.1 billion upfront plus a near-term milestone payment, acquiring an experimental therapy for treating inflammatory bowel disease, RVT-3101. The asset is still under development and, pending approval, Roche has the rights to sell it in the USA and Japan – with Pfizer holding commercial rights in the remaining parts of the world.

3. Merck and Prometheus Biosciences

Deal value: USD 10.8 billion

Date completed: June 2023

After releasing positive data on one of their bowel disease candidates in December 2022, there was a flurry of attention on Prometheus, with their stock price rocketing from USD 36 to USD 103 at open the next day. Merck won out against AbbVie in their competition for acquiring Prometheus, offering a price of USD 200 per share versus USD 167.50 as they continue to bolster their immunology presence.

2. Amgen and Horizon Therapeutics

Deal value: USD 27.8 billion

Date completed: October 2023

Initially announced at the end of 2022, the M&A deal between Amgen and Horizon Therapeutics faced a significant obstacle as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sought to block the transaction from taking place, alleging that the acquisition could limit competition and prove costly to consumers. In October of 2023, 10 months after the acquisition was announced, the High Court of Ireland ultimately approved the deal with Amgen paying USD 116.50 per share.

1. Pfizer and Seagen

Deal value: USD 43 billion

Date completed: December 2023

The largest deal was completed in the final month of the year. Like Amgen, the acquisition faced scrutiny from the FTC though this was alleviated after Pfizer agreed to donate royalties of its U.S. sales of Merck’s bladder cancer drug, Bavencio, to the American Association for Cancer Research. On the foot of the transaction being approved, Pfizer established the Pfizer Oncology Division that will combine both commercial and R&A oncology-related operations.

At the time of writing, a host of deals are also currently in progress and awaiting completion. Two of these involve AbbVie, who has agreed deals to acquire Cerevel Therapeutics and ImmunoGen for USD 8.7 billion and USD 10 billion respectively – both of which would earn them a position in this list. December also saw Bristol Myers Squibb agree to purchase Karuna Therapeutics, the company behind a schizophrenia drug awaiting FDA approval, KarXT. These in-progress deals showcase positive signs of further M&A activity for 2024.