Bottom Line: Modern life could mean further divorces for the pharma family

Julian Harris
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OVER in the US, where Bristol-Myers Squibb is headquartered, people refer to this kind of deal as a “no brainer”. The New York firm confirmed last month that it was looking to exit its work on diabetes, neuroscience and hepatitis B, thus paving the way for Astra-Zeneca to stroll along and take full control of the joint diabetes venture.

The deal gives AZ the exclusive benefits of lucrative products such as byetta that are already on the market, as well as upcoming developments such as dapagliflozin (which, conveniently, was endorsed by US medical experts just last week).

And all for a reasonable price, too. Last month analysts thought the sale could be worth $6bn, so AZ seems to have done well – even allowing for all the add-ons.

Big pharma is no longer a simple game, and firms require brave CEOs who can carve out niche areas. As these two go their separate ways, it may lead to more strategic break-ups.

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