Gary W. Herschman and Anjana D. Patel, Members of the Firm in the Health Care & Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Newark office, were quoted in Bloomberg Law Health Law & Business, in “November Health Deals Drop Slightly, but on Track to Top 2018,” by Mary Anne Pazanowski.

Following is an excerpt:

Deal volume in the health-care industry dropped slightly in November, marking the first time in the past five months when there were fewer than 150 announced or closed transactions, investment bankers and attorneys told Bloomberg Law. …

Life Sciences Tops Month …

These deals also involved some of the highest amounts, Gary W. Herschman, a member of Epstein Becker Green in Newark, N.J., told Bloomberg Law.

For example, Bristol-Myers Squibb closed its acquisition of Celgene Corp. for $74 billion, Amgen completed its purchase of the world-wide rights to Celgene’s psoriasis drug Otezla for $13.4 billion, Novartis AG announced it will buy the Medicines Co. for $9.7 billion, Exact Sciences Corp. completed its deal to acquire Genomic Health Inc. for $2.8 billion, and Swiss drugmaker Roche bought U.S. biotech company Promedior for $1.4 billion, he said.

The medical device and supplies sector also put in a significant showing, with 19 deals announced or closed, Epstein Becker Green member Anjana D. Patel said. Stryker Corp. announced the biggest deal, a definitive agreement to acquire Wright Medical for a total equity value of $4 billion, she said.

Steady Pace for Health IT …

Optum is investing heavily in IT, Patel said. The United Health Group subsidiary acquired Vivify Health, a Texas-based remote patient monitoring start-up. This broadens Optum’s investments in consumer-focused businesses, particularly engagement solutions for patients with chronic health conditions, she said.

Physician Practice and Services …

Increased competition in private equity recapitalizations of specialty physician groups continues to drive deals in gastroenterology, orthopedics, and ophthalmology, Patel said. More private equity firms are pushing to acquire platforms in these areas, she said.

“It’s clearer than ever that the key to future survival and success of hospitals and physicians (and other healthcare providers) is robust implementation of virtual health, data analytics, advanced EMR and patient access—which only large organizations with substantial capital can invest in,” Herschman said.

Despite the slight downturn in November, Herschman predicted that “even more consolidation among providers is coming in 2020.”

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