The high-roller club in bio­phar­ma: Who’s pay­ing top-dol­lar for up­fronts? And who are the busiest play­ers at the deal ta­ble?

Noth­ing says “I love this” in bio­phar­ma quite like a big up­front deal pay­ment.

In an era when biobucks are hand­ed around in a some­what care­free fash­ion, it’s the cash down pay­ments that tell you where the lead­ers in this in­dus­try are see­ing the next big ad­vances com­ing from.

We asked Chris Doko­ma­ji­lar, who launched Deal­For­ma, to crunch the num­bers for us on up­fronts and deal to­tals for the in­dus­try dat­ing back to the start of 2017, and a few things stand out in the re­sults.

First and fore­most, deal­mak­ing in an era of sky-high biotech val­u­a­tions means go­ing in big when you be­lieve there’s a game chang­ing new leap in phar­ma tech on the ta­ble. That’s what Mer­ck and Bris­tol-My­ers Squibb proved, along with the rest of the top 5, where to­tals leaned heav­i­ly on a sin­gle trans­ac­tion.

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