Narinder Banait, a partner in the Life Sciences Group with Fenwick & West, was recently quoted in the Pharmawire article, "M&A Activity Likely to Heat Up in Stem Cell Space Following Reversal on Federal Funding, Experts Say."

President Obama is expected to reverse the ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, which could begin M&A activity in the space and increase funding for smaller companies as well, according to experts.

Banait said he expected M&A activity to pick up in 2009, pointing out that both Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb have expressed interest in getting into the space. Pfizer has already announced the establishment of a stem cell research facility, and other companies would likely pursue similar goals.

"They're slightly behind the companies that have been involved in this research for awhile now and one of the ways they could catch up is simply by acquiring one of these companies," Banait said about big pharma companies.

Banait pointed out that with a good amount of venture capital funding tied up in stem cell companies, some firms will be looking for an exit. With the initial public offering market closed for the time being, acquisitions are likely.


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