Bay­er’s $240M up­front for Blue­Rock ac­qui­si­tion puts them in the high rollers club for pre­clin­i­cal biotech buy­outs

Bay­er’s deal to­day marks a ma­jor, top-10 ac­qui­si­tion for a pre­clin­i­cal biotech, but it’s al­so sig­nif­i­cant­ly dif­fer­ent than the av­er­age big-buck pacts in the field, which typ­i­cal­ly re­volve around a sin­gle drug or tar­get. Bay­er wants to build a whole new pipeline cov­er­ing a va­ri­ety of dis­ease fields.

The phar­ma gi­ant’s $600 mil­lion gam­ble — $240 mil­lion in cash up­front with $360 mil­lion for de­vel­op­ment goals — ranks as the 6th largest mon­ey-down deal on the top 20 list of pre­clin­i­cal M&A deals, as gath­ered by Deal­For­ma’s Chris Doko­ma­ji­lar.

The list is topped by Bris­tol-My­ers Squibb’s mis­guid­ed $800 mil­lion up­front for Flexus’ IDO pro­gram — lat­er scrapped. Tek­mi­ra — now Ar­bu­tus — fol­lowed with a moth­er­lode of dol­lars for On­Core’s hep B ef­fort. That stands out as an un­usu­al play for a biotech. The top 15 play­ers dom­i­nate the pre­clin­i­cal M&A game when it comes to large up­fronts.

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