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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HPE New York 2020: The Impact of COVID-19: What’s Hot, What’s Not

In the wake of COVID-19 some health sectors have emerged as hot while others are troubled. Our panel of active investors discussed where the dollars are going and offered insights on why in relation to the events of 2020. McDermott partner Jerry Sokol moderated this dynamic panel featuring Paige Daly, partner at Harvest Partners; Chris Gordon, global head of healthcare and co-head of North America private equity at Bain Capital; Geoff Lieberthal, partner at Two Sigma Impact; and Rob Wolfson, executive managing director and head of H.I.G. Advantage Fund and U.S. Healthcare.

Below are the top takeaways for HPE New York 2020 half day session: The Impact of COVID-19: What’s Hot, What’s Not, click here to access the full webinar.

Access the PDF here.

COVID-19 has revealed weaknesses in the healthcare system and in healthcare delivery in particular. “One of the most fundamental things that we as healthcare investors all should be thinking about is investing in businesses that are making things better for the entire system—for patients, for providers and for payors,” Ms. Daly said. “That means we should be both raising quality and lowering costs.” These principles are driving some of the most exciting innovation today, particularly in payor services, physician practice management (PPM) and healthcare IT.

Healthcare IT generally and telemedicine specifically are areas of major investment. Dramatically accelerated patient and payor adoption of telehealth has created growth [...]

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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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Top Takeaways: New Steps for Compliance: A Closer Look at the DOJ’s Revised Corporate Compliance Program

The US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) revised compliance program document “The Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs,” released June 1, 2020, helps organizations understand how DOJ evaluates compliance programs for effectiveness. Below are the the top takeaways from this revision that you should be aware of. For a deeper dive into this revision, listen to our webinar recording.

  1. Three questions the DOJ looks to answer are:
    • Is the corporation’s program well designed?
    • Is the program being applied earnestly and in good faith? (In other words, is the program adequately resourced and empowered to function effectively?)
    • Does the corporation’s program work in practice?
  2. Under the June 2020 updates, the DOJ will increase its focus on evaluating how effectively compliance programs are tailored to the organization’s risk profile, including the company’s size, industry, geographic footprint, regulatory landscape and other factors.
  3. Compliance programs should continuously evolve to pass muster under the DOJ’s updated guidance. Programs are expected to adapt based on review of new data, as well as lessons learned from the company’s own experiences and the experiences of similar companies.
  4. The design of compliance programs will be even more closely scrutinized. The DOJ has added more detailed questions on program design, including, among others, have the policies and procedures been published in a searchable format?; how do employees ask questions during on-line trainings; and does the company take measures to test whether employees are aware of the compliance hotline and feel comfortable using it?
  5. The importance [...]

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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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Proactive Due Diligence Considerations for Life Sciences Dealmakers

In today’s competitive and fast-paced life sciences dealmaking environment, buyers and investors are often unable to spend as much time on due diligence as they might like. Market players are often highly focused on the science itself and, as a result, may pay less attention to issues such as supply chain, intellectual property components and reimbursement. However, addressing these topics at the due diligence stage is critical—they can cause a deal to unravel if left unexamined, regardless of the strength of the science.

Due diligence standards and considerations vary significantly across life sciences subsectors— pharma, medical devices, digital health and AI are each governed by unique regulatory structures and operate in very different deal landscapes. Buyers and investors are well advised to consider end-game issues such as reimbursement options, protection for valuable IP and pathways to commercialization early in the planning process. Framing the areas of diligence focus around the value drivers of their target deal model and key contract elements requiring verification will allow buyers to leverage their diligence findings into an informed, forward-thinking action plan.

Reimbursement. When evaluating a potential life sciences transaction, it is never too early to start thinking about reimbursement. Due diligence should take into account the commercialization channel for the product and include engagement with data sources on alternative therapies and their reimbursement. If the product in view is entering an existing market, conversations with reimbursement specialists can help a buyer determine the best path to reimbursement. A product that is opening a new [...]

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Collaborative Transformation: Life Sciences Partnerships – Delivering Deals that Work

The life sciences marketplace has been ripe for collaboration for the past decade, but new players, new technologies and new regulations are changing the space. Traditional life sciences companies are working together in new and exciting ways, bringing a variety of deal structures and new complexities into the landscape. Our Collaborative Transformation podcast episode “Driving the Deal: Life Sciences Partnership Opportunities, Pitfalls and Impact” with Emmanuelle Trombe and Gary Howes explores these issues in depth. Below are key takeaways from the episode, which you can listen to in full here.

It’s not just new players changing the space—it’s new approaches by traditional players. “It’s not only about pharma and biotech,” Trombe said. “We are seeing collaboration with health care players such as payers, insurers and providers.” Technology companies are also entering the space, bringing financial and philanthropic investments to the table. “People are still trying to do the same things, but they’re getting there in slightly different ways,” Howes said. Collaborations are also shifting from exclusive collaborations to more open collaborations, where partners are more closely involved in the product lifecycle, co-developing products and sharing technology, data and profits.

Bridging the gap between different industry cultures is crucial to building a successful collaboration. Product lifecycles and regulatory regimes vary across industries, but the gap between technology and health care/life sciences is particularly broad. “Life sciences health care companies looking at a lifecycle for their [...]

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Five Questions with a Health Lawyer: Megan Rooney

Megan Rooney
Partner
Office: Chicago
Years at Firm: 13

What is your favorite part about practicing health care law at McDermott? 

The team, the team, the team! It’s a pleasure to work with colleagues who have deep substantive expertise, prioritize client service, and are good human beings. As a healthcare M&A attorney, I am responsible for leading large teams of attorneys, including a variety of subspecialists, to drive efficient and effective outcomes and achieve business goals. I love knowing that, in nearly every instance, when an issue arises we have the specific expertise to handle it and there is no need to reinvent the wheel.

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

Our hospital and health system clients have a tremendous opportunity to improve the delivery of patient care, expand services provided to their communities and defend against the challenge of declining reimbursement through strategic partnerships. In addition to traditional hospital and health system M&A, our hospital and health system clients are increasingly pursuing Collaborative Transformations – that is, partnerships with non-traditional health care players. A successful Collaborative Transformation takes cultural integration between non-traditional partners, incorporating new technologies into health care regulatory compliance structures, and so much more.

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Five Questions with a Health Lawyer: Amanda Enyeart

Amanda Enyeart
Partner
Office: Chicago
Years at Firm: 4

What is your favorite part about practicing health care law at McDermott? 

Definitely our people. I love the depth and breadth of expertise among my colleagues. We have highly experienced lawyers in just about every health care niche you can think of and this allows us to take on client work with confidence. On top of that, we have lawyers who are gifted strategists who can take a holistic and critical look at an issue from a broad perspective. I am constantly learning from my colleagues.

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

Our clients have the potential to transform health care delivery and improve quality of care.  We see forces aligning such as changes in payment models to reward value rather than volume and the integration of advanced technology in health care settings to support health care diagnosis and decision making that could actually result in improved health outcomes for many people.  Sometimes it seems like all you hear is a lot of hype and speculation – but we get to see through our interactions with clients that some things are really changing.

The flip side is that biggest challenge to this innovation is regulatory compliance that has not kept pace with the changes in health care. There is a real struggle for resources in health care [...]

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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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