Merck Projected to Spend the Most on Licensing Deals in 2018

Report from GlobalData predicts Merck will take the top slot.

Licensing deals between larger pharma companies and their competitors, as well as emerging and startup firms are playing an increasing role in pipeline development strategies. Successful alliances can result in the development of top-earning drug products. In 2017, AstraZeneca (AZ) led the pack, spending approximately $11 billion on licensing deals, $8.5 billion of which was on an agreement with Merck to co-develop AZ’s LYNPARZA (olaparib) for multiple cancer types. AZ also signed deals with Pieris Pharmaceuticals and MedImmune.

In 2018, market research firm GlobalData predicts that Merck will claim the title of top spender on licensing deals. The company wasn’t too far behind AZ in 2017, spending over $9 billon. Other companies that had a good 2017 in terms of licensing deals included Pieris Pharmaceuticals, Allergan and Novartis. Pieris has two big deals - $2.2 billion with AZ and $1.8 billion with Les Laboratoires Servier. While Allergan and Novartis saw the values of their deals decline somewhat in 2017 compared to 2016, they both still signed large agreements in 2017 – Allergan with Assembly Bioscience to acquire microbiome gastrointestinal (GI) development programs and Novartis with Ionis Pharma and Tribos for candidates in cardiovascular and eye indications, respectively.


Guy Tiene

Guy supports the success of life science organizations by identifying synergies across research, content, marketing and communications resources to drive value for clients. With over 30 years of education and marketing experience and 18 years in the life sciences alone, Guy leads our editorial standards for client content, Pharma’s Almanac and Nice Insight research-based industry content as well as external communications for clients. Having served as head of global marketing and communications for a CMO, he also brings critical insight and guidance to all communications. Guy holds a Masters degree from Columbia University.