The R&D 15: Top phar­ma play­ers shell out record $153B for re­search, and M&A is a prime fo­cus for all

At a time when biotech is still count­ing its loss­es as a thaw grad­u­al­ly sets in af­ter the long mar­ket win­ter, phar­ma has been on a tear. M&A took off in Q4 as the in­dus­try’s biggest R&D spenders ei­ther rolled the dice on the back of their block­buster bo­nan­zas, were forced to ad­dress gap­ing holes in the pipeline in the face of loom­ing patent ex­pi­ra­tions, or sim­ply had no choice in the face of re­peat­ed set­backs.

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