HEALTH & LIFE SCIENCES NEWS
HEALTH & LIFE SCIENCES NEWS
Exploring Critical Business and Legal Issues across the Healthcare and Life Sciences Industries
HEALTH & LIFE SCIENCES NEWS
Exploring Critical Business and Legal Issues across the Healthcare and Life Sciences Industries
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What are the Life Science Transaction Trends in the Wake of the Sanitary Crisis?

In the second installment of McDermott’s webinar series, HPE Europe 2020: What are the Life Science Transaction Trends in the Wake of the Sanitary Crisis?, moderator and McDermott partner Emmanuelle Trombe and industry experts Joseph El Khoury of Natixis, Cédric Garcia of EY’s Life Science Group, Dr. Erich Tauber of Themis Bioscience and Daniel Teper of CYTOVIA Therapeutics shared lessons learned from the first half of 2020, when COVID-19 changed the world. The panelists also discussed the outlook for life sciences transaction trends in the second half of the year and beyond.

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What Impact has Coronavirus had on Doing Healthcare Deals?

In the fifth and final installment of McDermott’s HPE Europe 2020 Summer Webinar Series, McDermott partner Tom Whelan hosted a discussion with Marc Benatar of Apax Partners, Markus Peterseim of Alvarez & Marsal, and fellow McDermott partner Dr. Nikolaus von Jacobs to examine how the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting deal making in the healthcare industry.

Whelan led the group through a wide-ranging conversation centered on five key pandemic deal impact areas: pricing, process, timing, regulation and future prospects. Read on for discussion highlights, and click here to access the full webinar.

Pricing

“You’ve clearly seen a polarization,” Benatar said. “Nonessential businesses were hit hard by the lockdown effect and remain impacted, while those that were related to essential elements of healthcare were hit but started to experience a catch-up at the beginning of May and are already getting close to the normal run rate volume. I think that businesses that demonstrated that they are related to an essential part of the healthcare offering and that they can survive this type of crisis have almost strengthened their value. Those businesses that we know have experience with this first wave and those that are getting even more prepared for the next one will probably attract the highest valuations.”

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the due diligence process, Peterseim noted. “When you’re advising investors on commercial or operations due diligence, there are always questions such as, ‘What will be the new normal of profitability? Will it be a swift [...]

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What is the Impact of Recent Regulation and Government Measures on Investments in Healthcare and Life Sciences in Europe?

In the fourth installment of McDermott’s HPE Europe Summer Webinar Series 2020: What’s the Impact of Recent Regulation and Government Measures on Investments in Healthcare and Life Sciences in Europe? moderator and McDermott partner Dr. Stephan Rau and industry experts Karthic Jayaraman of TPG Capital, Max Müller of Bayer, Ben Faircloth of L.E.K. Consulting and Dr. Ulrich Wandschneider, former CEO of Asklepios AG, currently at Trilantic Capital Partners and Supervisory Board member of BioNTech SE, the Nasdaq-listed developer of COVID vaccine, headquartered in Germany, discussed the impact that COVID-19 and the government measures to address it have had on investments in healthcare and life sciences in Europe.

“I think it’s about as interesting a time as any in my last 20 years investing,” said Jayaraman. “People are beginning to focus a lot more on innovation, the speed of innovation and how innovation is brought to market. I think the question is, “How can we continue to reward innovation, both by simplifying the process by which it’s made possible and how we value it?”

“New developments in digital health have become more and more attractive as people have had faster access to care and governments have understood that some of their regulations needed to be adjusted,” added Müller.

Jayaraman agreed. “There has been an acceleration of the provision of care through telehealth services and any kind of remote administration of care. It’s probably been an acceleration of two-plus years collapsed into months. I also think we’re going to see some vigorous [...]

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European Healthcare Innovation & Investment in a Post-Pandemic World

As part of McDermott’s HPE Europe 2020: Where Do the Opportunities Exist for Investment in the Healthcare Sector? webinar, McDermott London Managing Partner Hamid Yunis moderated a panel of industry experts including; Dr. Michelle Tempest of Candesic, Dr. Joanne Hackett of IZY Capital, Dr. Charles Niehaus and Professor Karol Sikora of Rutherford Cancer Centres, who collectively shared their perspectives on healthcare innovation and investment in a post-pandemic world.

The panelists agreed that COVID-19 has served as a catalyst for change and which has revealed important prospects for the future.

“There has been this zest for change which we’ve been talking about for a long period of time, and this has finally been that breakthrough,” said Dr. Tempest. “Both the professionals and the consumers have suddenly woken up to this new dawn.”

“What I’ve actually seen in the past couple of months is a lot of innovation that we were really wanting to accelerate are now actually happening,” agreed Dr. Hackett. “And it’s because we’re finally able to look to the future and think about future proofing to make sure that our healthcare system is actually going to deliver. I see positivity.”

Dr. Niehaus emphasized that, the real opportunity at the moment is to take the technologies many people were resistant to pre-COVID now acceptable, and use the shift as a “springboard to actually move forward.”

“We struggle with the cumbersome nature of a nationalized system that doesn’t really encourage entrepreneurism,” Professor Sikora cautioned. “The entrepreneurial skills are there — in [...]

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Five Questions with a Health Lawyer: Larry Guess

Larry Guess
Partner
Office: Chicago
Years at the Firm: 6 years

What is your favorite part about practicing healthcare law at McDermott? 

My favorite part of practicing healthcare law at McDermott is the complexity of our client matters and working with my colleagues to get great results for our clients. The healthcare industry is constantly changing and innovating, and our clients engage us to help them adapt to these changes and maximize innovation in the space.

What is the biggest opportunity and greatest challenge facing clients in your area of focus today? 

The biggest opportunity facing our clients is the bullish investment perspective in the healthcare industry. Currently, there are buyers with a tremendous amount of capital to deploy and sellers looking to maximize current market conditions. The healthcare transactional climate is very dynamic and certain clients are willing to invest in more risky assets. While the payoff can be substantial, the speed and complexity of these transactions can be very challenging for clients.  McDermott’s healthcare group excels in delivering value to our clients by managing the speed of transactions while navigating complex regulatory regimes, enabling our clients to understand the risk associated with a particular investment and opportunities to maximize returns.

What kind of client work gets you most excited when it comes across your desk? 

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Tips for Conducting Effective Due Diligence in an Auction Process

In today’s highly competitive healthcare environment, investors may find themselves in an auction process where they must conduct due diligence pre-exclusivity. With limited time and mounting pressure, it can be difficult to know what issues to prioritize. Here are some practical tips for focusing your due diligence efforts strategically in a pre-exclusivity setting:

  • Quality of Earnings: Against the backdrop of high valuations, quality of earnings should be a key diligence focus, particularly in the context of high-complexity transactions  such as corporate carve-outs, partnerships with corporates and public-private pairings. For example, it is critical to examine the pro forma EBITDA to see if it excludes costs or includes questionable adjustments or add-backs.
  • Timeline: How competitive is the auction process and when are bids due? Does the buyer plan to conduct a full due diligence review pre-exclusivity, or instead look for big ticket liabilities that have a potential to impact valuation or derail the transaction?
  • Legal Showstoppers: Keep an eye out for legal showstoppers—issues that go to the core of the business, are not isolated incidents and are not fixable through purchase price adjustments, indemnification, escrow or enhanced compliance measures. For example, referral relationships that are based on illegal arrangements, systemic upcoding, quality of care issues, tenuous relationships with hospital partners, untenable and promised salary increases, a culture of non-compliance, or a retiring physician workforce without adequate succession planning.

As you plan your due diligence, keep in mind [...]

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Tips for Winning Competitive Health Care Auctions

The current environment for healthcare transactions is fiercely competitive with high prices, tough deal terms and limited time for proper due diligence. In terms of both value and number of deals, 2018 was the biggest year for health care private equity (PE) since the financial crisis. More large cap PE firms are moving into the small and mid-cap space, increasing competition. At the same time, non-health-care entrants are competing with US and international PE, especially in the area of physician practice management and other related health care services.

Faced with this stiff competition, sponsors are getting more creative in their healthcare partnerships, whether that means partnering with management teams on new strategies, partnering with large strategics or even with one another.  These innovative collaborations can open up more investable opportunities, including public to privates and secondary trades among sponsors.

Even with these creative new opportunities, submitting a winning bid for a health care services business in a hotly contested auction can be a Herculean task. When outbidding the competition is not an option, here are some tips to help differentiate your offer:

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Opportunities in Outsourced Pharmaceutical Services

Pharmaceutical outsourcing has emerged as a robust—and rapidly growing—subsector of the life sciences industry. As the push for efficiency continues, more pharmaceutical, biotech and medtech companies are turning to contract research organizations (CROs), contract development organizations, medical affairs outsourcing and other service providers for help bringing products to market, manufacturing and distributing products, and improving quality. This trend is creating exciting new opportunities for investors in this burgeoning space.

Several factors are driving this growth in pharmaceutical services outsourcing:

  • Pharma companies are becoming more comfortable with outsourcing. Of outsourced service providers, CROs have the highest penetration, with approximately 50 percent of clinical trials outsourced. Other areas of outsourcing are far less penetrated, however, offering ample opportunity for investment. Consider researching opportunities in health economics or outcomes research market access, for example.
  • The current health care/pharma environment is rich for pharma outsourcing. Biotech is thriving: capital is readily available, and the US Food and Drug Administration regulatory environment for approval of new products is favorable. On the pharmaceutical front, ongoing consolidation has fostered an efficiency mindset. And across the health care and life sciences space, big data is being harnessed in new ways that make outsourcing easier and more efficient than ever.
  • We are in a period of great market fragmentation. The market is starting to skew toward earlier stage rather than big pharma companies. Trials also are increasingly designed with an emphasis on subpopulations and advanced analytics (such as specialty drugs targeted to specific genotypes). Traditional pharma often lacks [...]

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McDermott Named Health Practice Group of the Year by Law360

We greatly appreciate our readers continuing to turn to us for insight on the most critical legal, regulatory and transactional developments, and innovative collaborations transforming health care. Over the past year, McDermott’s Health practice made headlines for our work on several of the most high-profile collaborative transformations that took place in 2018: We were one of several law firms to advise CVS Health Corp. on its approximately $70 billion cash and stock purchase of health insurer Aetna Inc. McDermott also assisted Air Medical Group Holdings in its $2.44 billion acquisition of American Medical Response (AMR), a medical transportation company, from Envision Healthcare Corporation. It is because of our role in ground-breaking transactions like these that—for the fifth time in 10 years—McDermott was recognized by Law360 as the Health Practice Group of the Year.

We’re passionate about the results our clients are achieving and our role in helping them transform health care. We are equally passionate about what these results mean for the industry and health care consumers. Through our blogs, articles and health-focused events, we are committed to providing you with thought leadership that will help expand your field of vision as you navigate the rapidly changing health care landscape.

To read Law360’s profile of McDermott’s industry-leading health care practice, click here. McDermott was also named Practice Group of the Year in the Tax category. For more information about our approach to Collaborative Transformation, visit mwe.com/collaborativetransformation.




Dealmaking in Life Sciences – Valuations and Partnerships that Work

Technology companies are pouring unprecedented capital, time and energy into the health care and life sciences industry, and are reshaping the deal landscape in the process. The top 10 US tech companies have made $4.7 billion in acquisitions in the health care space since 2012, according to CB Insights. Key market factors driving health care joint ventures and mergers and acquisitions include the merger of molecular science and computer technology, a growing focus on patient-centric care, increased mobility of consumer health products and services, and deep capital markets. In this fast-paced, proactive deals environment, traditional health players have exciting—and disruptive—new opportunities to enter into unexpected partnerships and pursue transformative innovation.

With Great Disruption Comes Great Opportunity

A helpful analogy for understanding the role of tech companies in this rapidly evolving sector is Uber’s disruption of the ride-hailing industry. When Uber came on the scene, on-demand ride-hailing was only available through taxicabs, and frequently only available in major cities. Now on-demand ride hailing is available through numerous companies and in areas that previously did not have such services available. Ride-hailing companies have also expanded their services offering to include food delivery.

Tech companies entering the health industry today are doing the same thing: reimagining and redefining the fundamentals of consumer access to health care. These companies often have deep insight into distribution and consumer purchasing behavior, and are willing to invest more capital and take on more risk than traditional health industry players [...]

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