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M&A activity in pharma sector trailing

Despite the high profile M&A deals revealed so far in December, the pharmaceutical sector ranks only eighth among the top 15 global industries in mergers and acquisitions in 2007

Despite the high profile M&A deals revealed so far in December, which include Eisai's USD 3.9bn bid for MGI Pharma, the pharmaceutical sector ranks only eighth among the top 15 global industries in mergers and acquisitions in 2007.

According to Dealogic data, so far in 2007, total global volume of USD 222.6bn was recorded for pharma, trailing sectors, such as computers, oil and gas, and mining.

Q4 2007 has seen further reduced activity, while overall mergers and acquisitions volumes have fallen. To date, the combined value of healthcare acquisitions has reached USD 221.4bn in 2007, compared with USD 276.5bn for the same period of 2006.

Q4 2007 M&A volumes were USD 30bn, compared with Q3 2007 volumes of USD 50.7bn.

Reckitt Benckiser to buy Adams for USD 2.3bn
Britain's Reckitt Benckiser has agreed to buy US specialty pharmaceutical group Adams Respiratory Therapeutics for USD 60 per share in cash, or USD 2.3bn in total.

Adams is a NASDAQ-listed group and is exclusively focused on the development and marketing of pharmaceuticals for the treatment of respiratory disorders.

Adams, which owns cough and congestion drugs Mucinex and Delsym, gives Reckitt an strengthened presence in the US. It now plans to expand sales of the two drugs in overseas markets.

In 2005, Reckitt Benckiser bought Boots International's US health division.

Hikma acquires APMC
Jordan-headquartered Hikma Pharmaceuticals has revealed it will acquire Arab Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Company (APMC) for USD 163.6m in cash.

APMC shareholders accepted the cash offer at an extraordinary general assembly meeting.

The acquisition of APMC should enhance Hikma's presence in the Middle-East and North Africa (MENA) region, particularly in the key markets of Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

From the acquisition, Hikma gains Takeda's blockbuster diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone). The company has a combined sales and marketing team of 1,000.

Hikma will finance the acquisition through new committed debt facilities, although the company also continues to actively review other financing options, including a potential equity issuance. The company expects to assume control of APMC by the end of the year.
 
Curidium Medica clinches deal with Japan's Takeda Research
Curidium Medica, a drug development specialist listed on the Alternative Investment Market, has clinched a deal with Takeda Research Investment. 

Curidium concentrates on personalised medicine while Takeda Research is the corporate division of Japan's biggest pharmaceutical company, Takeda. 

The latter is buying 10.5m shares in Curidium plus warrants and Curidium will use the cash to bolster its research into major depression illnesses.

Amarin buying Ester Neurosciences of Israel
Amarin, the biotechnology company, is purchasing Ester Neurosciences, an Israeli company, for up to GBP 15.8m. 

Amarin at the same time announced a fund raising of USD 8.1m and is going to consolidate its shares in a one for 10 reverse share split.  

Amarin ran into trouble earlier in 2007 when late stage trials of its leading product, a treatment for Huntington's disease, did not live up to expectations. Ester's lead product is for myasthenia gravis, a neuro-muscular disease.

11th December 2007

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