The number mergers and acquisitions in the biotech sector has started to move closer to that of all-time highs of 2016. Last year, M&A deals in the sector totaled around $200 billion, led by deals from heavyweights Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) and Gilead Science (GILD). Analysts remain confident that this year should only exceed those numbers.
This year has already started with a bang, as Big Pharma continues to hunt for profitable acquisitions to beef up their pipelines. In January, top dog biotech Celgene (CELG) and pharma titan Sanofi (SNY) announced two multi-billion-dollar acquisitions. Pressure on Big Pharma continues to heat up with the consolidation throughout the sector, as payers unite, and Amazon (AMZN)makes their way into the space.
Developing fresh research and development projects takes significant time and money, so these large drug makers continue to search for smaller companies with innovative candidates. Despite the recent market volatility, there are several small cap biotech stocks that investors, and Big Pharma, may be watching for what is in their pipelines.
Today Emergent BioSolutions (EBS) announced acquisition of Adapt Pharma for up to $735M. Adapt markets Opiant Pharmaceutical’s (OPNT) drug NARCAN. This news sent its stock price up nearly 200% during premarket trading.