Schwarz Jumps Into Pharma Consolidation Trend

Sergio Garcia, co-chairman of Fenwick & West's Life Sciences Group was recently quoted in a Forbes article entitled, "Schwarz Jumps Into Pharma Consolidation Trend." UCB of Belgium acquired Schwarz Pharma, a German pharmaceutical firm that manufactures medications for epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, and bladder control, for $5.64 billion on Sept. 25. The acquisition makes it the third time in recent weeks a larger rival scooped up a family-run European pharmaceuticals firm. Germany's Merck KGaA bought Switzerland-based Serono and Danish Nycomed Holding bought the drug division of Altana. According to Garcia, companies like UCB are increasingly interested in biotech M&A deals to build up their shrinking pipelines. It's part of a strategy, alternative to licensing, to address expiring patents on blockbuster drugs, he said. "UCB is no stranger to the strategy that Merck recently adopted which is acquiring a pipeline that includes biotechnology drugs," Garcia added. "Pharmaceutical companies have historically relied on their internal R&D efforts to build and sustain their pipelines. This deal confirms that that is no longer the case."