Biopharma Mergers Surge: A New Wave of Consolidation to Watch

Last updated: January 7, 2024

CNBC’s Jim Cramer recently highlighted the surge in biopharma mergers and acquisitions, urging investors to keep a keen eye on this trend. “We’ve witnessed a big pharma takeover spree,” he said, “and this wave of consolidation is something you need to keep in mind.”

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Despite the Biden administration’s stringent antitrust policies, the industry has seen a shift in momentum. Two major pharma players, Amgen and Pfizer, managed to close significant deals this year, setting the stage for others to follow suit.

Amgen’s $27.8 billion acquisition of Horizon Therapeutics and Pfizer’s $43 billion deal with Seagen have seemingly emboldened other biopharma companies to pursue mergers.

Cramer pointed to AbbVie’s proposed billion-dollar acquisitions of ImmunoGen and Cerevel Therapeutics, and Roche and AstraZeneca’s announced acquisitions as examples.

However, Bristol-Myers takes the cake as the most active player, announcing deals to acquire Mirati Therapeutics, Karuna Therapeutics, and RayzeBio. “Biopharma companies have finally rediscovered the urge to merge,” Cramer said. “Big pharma’s buying innovation, while the little biotechs sell themselves for distribution and marketing infrastructure—everybody wins.”

As the JPMorgan health care conference approaches, Cramer’s advice to investors is clear: keep an eye on the biopharma sector. The wave of consolidation is not just a trend, but a strategic move that could reshape the industry landscape.

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