Biopharma’s Year in Review: 2021’s biggest deals & partnerships

Published on Dec 14, 2021
Biopharma’s Year in Review: 2021’s biggest deals & partnerships

Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on LinkedIn

2021 was another record-breaking year in biopharma partnering, both in terms of deal size and activity. Here’s a compilation of 2021’s biggest deals, most active partners, and the regional deal totals and top therapeutic areas. This project is a collaboration between Inova and DealForma (data from 1 January 2021 – 3 December 2021).

Largest Deals by Month

Partnership

M&A

Click on a month to reveal the largest partnership and M&A deals.

Reveal all monthsHide all months
January

BeiGene x Novartis

BeiGene

Novartis

$650M

$2.2B


Approved Tislelizumab for cancer in North America, EU, UK, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland,
Liechtenstein, Russia, and Japan

Kymab Group x Sanofi

Kymab Group

Sanofi

$1.1B

$1.5B


Phase IIa KY1005 for moderate to severe atopic dermatitis

February

Vir Biotechnology x GSK

Vir Biotechnology

GSK

$345M

$845M


Phase II VIR-2482 expanding into influenza and other respiratory viruses (expanding 2020
deal)

GW Pharmaceuticals x Jazz Pharmaceuticals

GW Pharmaceuticals

Jazz Pharmaceuticals

$7.2B

$7.2B


Approved epidiolex and a portfolio in cancer and neurology

March

Debiopharm x Merck KGaA

Debiopharm

Merck KGaA

$227M

$1.1B


Phase III Xevinapant for head and neck cancer worldwide

Five Prime Therapeutics x Amgen

Five Prime Therapeutics

Amgen

$1.9B

$1.9B


Phase III Bemarituzumab anti-FGFR2b antibody for cancer

April

CRISPR Therapeutics x Vertex

CRISPR Therapeutics

Vertex

$900M

$1.1B


Phase II CTX001 for severe sickle cell diseases and transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia
worldwide (expanding 2015 deal)

Tidal Therapeutics x Sanofi

Tidal Therapeutics

Sanofi

$160M

$470M


Preclinical nanoparticle delivery of mRNA for in vivo reprogramming of immune cells in
cancer and autoimmune

* All larger M&A deals were for diagnostics and SPAC deals

May

Agenus x Bristol Myers Squibb

Agenus

Bristol Myers Squibb

$200M

$1.6B


Preclinical AGEN-1777 and an undisclosed target as immuno-oncology therapies, including
non-small cell lung cancer worldwide

Strongbridge Biopharma x Xeris Pharmaceuticals

Strongbridge Biopharma

Xeris Pharmaceuticals

$267M

$427M


Approved endocrine therapies

June

iTeos Therapeutics x GlaxoSmithKline

iTeos Therapeutics

GlaxoSmithKline

$625M

$2.1B


Phase II EOS-448 for cancer worldwide

Constellation Pharmaceuticals x MorphoSys

Constellation Pharmaceuticals

MorphoSys

$1.7B

$1.7B


Phase III Pelabresib for myelofibrosis, and Phase II CPI-0209 for hematological and solid
tumors

July

Arvinas x Pfizer

Arvinas

Pfizer

$1B

$2.4B


Phase II ARV-471 PROTAC for ER+/HER2- locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer worldwide

Protomer Technologies x Eli Lilly

Protomer Technologies

Eli Lilly

$1B

$1B


Peptide and protein engineering platform for diabetes

August

RemeGen x Seagen

RemeGen

Seagen

$200M

$2.6B


Phase II HER2-targeted ADC, disitamab vedotin for several solid tumor types including
urothelial, gastric, and breast cancer worldwide excluding parts of Asia

Translate Bio x Sanofi

Translate Bio

Sanofi

$3.2B

$3.2B


Phase I/II MRT5005 inhalational mRNA for CF and Phase I MRT5500 mRNA vaccine for COVID-19
already partnered with Sanofi

September

REGENXBIO x AbbVie

REGENXBIO

AbbVie

$370M

$1.8B


Phase II RGX-314 for wet AMD, diabetic retinopathy, and other chronic retinal diseases
worldwide

Acceleron Pharma x Merck & Co.

Acceleron Pharma

Merck & Co.

$11.5B

$11.5B


Approved REBLOZYL erythroid maturation recombinant fusion protein in the US, EU, and Canada
and Phase III sotatercept fusion protein for PAH

October

Xencor x Janssen

Xencor

Janssen

$125M

$1.3B


Phase I Plamotamab and new XmAb bispecific antibodies for CD20-expressing hematologic
malignancies worldwide

Flexion Therapeutics x Pacira Pharmaceuticals

Flexion Therapeutics

Pacira Pharmaceuticals

$450M

$873M


Approved ZILRETTA non-opioid corticosteroid suspension injection for OA knee pain

November

OWKIN x Sanofi

OWKIN

Sanofi

$180M

$270M


Owkin’s artificial intelligence and federated learning for applied to non-small cell lung
cancer, triple-negative breast cancer, mesothelioma, and multiple myeloma

Dicerna Pharmaceuticals x Novo Nordisk

Dicerna Pharmaceuticals

Novo Nordisk

$3.3B

$3.3B


Phase III Nedosiran RNAi for primary hyperoxaluria, Phase II RG6346 RNAi for chronic HBV,
and other programs in hepatic and cardiometabolic diseases

December

Ionis x AstraZeneca

Ionis

AstraZeneca

$200M

$3.6B


Phase II Antisense, eplontersen for transthyretin amyloidosis worldwide ex-Latin America

Source: DealForma Database

Most Active Dealmakers

Partnerships
M&A

2021 Top 5 Deals & Partnerships
2021 Top 5 M&A

Merck & Co. signed the most deals this year with a total of 35 partnering deals, nearly double that of AstraZeneca, who signed 18 new partnerships. Rounding out the top five came Bristol Myers Squibb with 17 partnering deals, Takeda with 16, and Pfizer with 15.

The M&A top five is more crowded, with Sanofi and PerkinElmer tying for first place with five deals. Merck & Co, Boston Scientific and Hologic all came in second with four M&A deals this year.

Regional Deal Totals and Top Therapeutic Area

When it comes to regional deal totals and top therapeutic areas, North America comes out on top with the greatest amount of money flowing in ($79,550M in total deal value), followed by Europe ($28,738M) and Asia ($27,122M). As for top therapeutic areas, cancer and neurology appeared as the top two for all three regions. However, third place differed for each region, with infectious disease in North America, hematology in Europe, and autoimmune in Asia.

Upcoming Webinar

Thursday 27th January 2022

Biopharma Dealmaking in 2022:
Trends & Forecasts

Get a more in-depth look at key biopharma dealmaking trends from 2021 and forecasts for 202 with Chris Dokomajilar, CEO at Dealforma, and Echo Zhang, Product Strategy Director at Inova.

Further reading

Blog · Tips & Best Practices

Six Steps to Kick-Start Pharma Due Diligence Process

Last week I had the pleasure of participating in a webinar discussion with a couple of experts in...

Read more
Blog · Partnering

Biopharma Partnering - lessons from BD&L Summit

One event I try to make every year is the BD&L Summit for Life Sciences, and this year was...

Read more
Blog · Vision

Why You Should Invest in Compliance

Compliance is a term that gets thrown around a lot these days, but what does being compliant in the ...

Read more