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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5 Questions with a Health Lawyer: Dana Dombey

Dana Dombey
Practice Focus Area: Healthcare M&A
Office: Miami
Years at Firm: 8 years

What is your favorite part about practicing healthcare law at McDermott?
Without question, our team. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with colleagues who are both the top experts in the field and people of the highest caliber, who deeply care about each other and who I can call good friends.

I also really enjoy the creative problem-solving aspects of the job, which comes up frequently in both my transactional and regulatory practices as well as the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues to navigate complex issues for clients.

What is the biggest opportunity and greatest challenge facing clients in your area of focus today?
I generally work with healthcare providers and investors in the healthcare industry, including private equity funds, on transactional and regulatory matters. Our clients have the opportunity to be at the forefront of innovative technologies, care delivery models, and collaboration in a rapidly evolving industry where even the smallest of players can have a significant impact. From my perspective, the biggest challenge facing healthcare investors is the increasingly competitive, seller-friendly market. With only a limited number of assets available for investments, we work closely with our healthcare investor clients to develop creative value propositions for healthcare providers and founders of healthcare companies.

What kind [...]

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Impact Finance: Innovative Solutions to Target Global Health Issues

As the economic impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to unfold, demand for healthcare remains a unifying global factor and provides an opportunity for innovative investment models to aid recovery and growth. Between 2020 and 2024, global health spending is expected to rise at a 3.9% compound annual growth rate, considerably faster than the 2.8% recorded in 2015–2019.

Those responsible for buying healthcare services (payors) commonly monitor population health metrics and the impact of changes to the healthcare landscape, such as clean water or vaccination programmes to assess need and allocate resources as part of their mandate.

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Three Digital Health Trends Affecting Investors in 2021

Private equity deal volume hit a low in the first half of 2020 as the pandemic slowed the US and global economies. But toward the end of the year, deals began picking back up, particularly in the digital health space.

COVID-19 forced healthcare providers to shift from in-person to virtual care, and technology was the vehicle to make that switch possible. Investors noticed, and more deals focused on companies specializing in telehealth, remote patient monitoring and other technology platforms that facilitate communication among specialists.

Expect this trend to continue in 2021, and keep these three factors in mind when evaluating the digital health landscape.

Easing of Laws and Regulations Surrounding Telehealth and Digital Health

Both telehealth and digital health are highly regulated, as every state has laws and regulations that govern how care is provided virtually and how those services are billed. In response to the pandemic, we’ve seen flexibility with these laws and regulations, and the Biden administration has signaled that it might make some flexibilities permanent.

Investment opportunities will likely increase as a result of the Biden administration’s willingness to lower some of the longstanding barriers to coverage and payment for virtual services, including telehealth, remote patient monitoring and other related services. That’s a positive sign for firms looking at healthcare through the lens of a technology solution.

Reallocation of Resources Due to Vaccine Rollout

Since the onset of the pandemic, labs have conducted a huge volume of testing and have had to ramp up personnel and other [...]

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McDermott Will & Emery and EY during the 2021 J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference: Election and Policy Implications: Healthcare Regulatory and Policy Outlook with the New Administration

The 2020 election gave Democrats the White House and control of both houses of Congress-an eleven seat majority in the House and Representatives, and a 50/50 split in the Senate with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris available to break ties. This change in the political landscape will lead to shifts in the health policy and regulatory agenda.

The panel, featuring Eric Zimmerman, McDermott Global Health Practice Lead; Brian Fortune, Senior Managing Director, Farragut Square Group; Mara McDermott, Vice President, McDermott+Consulting; Heather Meade, Principal, Health Care Policy, Washington Council Ernst & Young; and Thomas Scully, General Partner, Welsh, Carson, Anderson, and Stowe, discussed advice for investors as change comes to Washington.

Below are the top takeaways for McDermott Will & Emery and EY during the 2021 J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference: Election and Policy Implications: Healthcare Regulatory and Policy Outlook with the New Administration, click here to access the full webinar.

Access the PDF here.

THE TRANSITION
President Biden was sworn in on January 20, 2021, and one of his first orders of business has been confirming new cabinet officials. Some key officials, such as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Department of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, were easily confirmed in a bipartisan vote. However, others- like the nominee for Secretary of the Department [...]

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HPE New York 2020: Big Bankers Breakfast Discussion

In this lively panel session, global heads of healthcare at top banks analyzed the current market climate for healthcare services investing and provided their invaluable insights on hot sectors, growth strategies and the dealmaking outlook for 2021. McDermott counsel Charlie Ditkoff moderated this panel featuring Daniel Decelles, global co-head of healthcare investment banking at Jefferies; Matthew McAskin, senior managing director at Evercore; Jim Forbes, vice chairman of Morgan Stanley; Mark Francis, managing director and head of the healthcare group at Houlihan Lokey; and Cheairs Porter, head of the healthcare and life sciences group at Harris Williams.

Below are the top takeaways for HPE New York 2020 half day session: Big Bankers Breakfast Discussion, click here to access the full webinar.

Access the PDF here

The public markets have recovered remarkably from the lows of March and April 2020 and are currently seeing unprecedented deal activity, Mr. McAskin said. However, amid that activity, “there is no one solution that is working,” he said. “We are seeing financing work, we are seeing creative transaction structures work, and we’re seeing a resurgence of initial public offerings and special purpose acquisition companies like we have not seen for years or for decades. It’s a very confusing time for a lot of people, because we’re seeing these micro-cycles occurring very quickly.”

As might be expected in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, valuations for tech-enabled healthcare businesses have risen significantly this year, and that trend will likely continue into 2021. “I [...]

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HPE New York 2020: Healthcare Private Equity Pioneers

An illustrious group of healthcare private equity pioneers discussed how healthcare investing has evolved from inception to current state and what the future holds. Moderated by Michael Lewis, author of The Big Short, Moneyball, The Blind Side and Liar’s Poker, it featured insights from Senator Bill Frist, MD, founder of Frist Cressey Ventures; Annie Lamont, co-founder and Managing Partner of Oak HC/FT; Curtis Lane, founding partner of WindRose Health Investors; and Ira Coleman, Chairman of McDermott Will & Emery.

Below are the top takeaways for HPE New York 2020 half day session: Healthcare Private Equity Pioneers, click here to access the full webinar.

Access the PDF here.

Investment in healthcare private equity continues to accelerate, even amid disruption. In the past, healthcare made up only a small portion of private equity funds, but pioneers helped make it mainstream. “The amount of infrastructure, commitment and capability focused exclusively on healthcare is becoming commensurate with the size of healthcare relative to the economy,” Mr. Lane said. “I think that’s changed pretty significantly and is continuing to change very quickly.”

One of the most dramatic changes in the field of healthcare private equity since its inception is the ongoing transformation of the healthcare system and the opportunities that transformation has created for entrepreneurs outside of traditional healthcare roles. As virtual health companies and other digital-focused endeavors [...]

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After the Curve Podcast: Focus on Life Sciences

In this time of crisis, the life science industry has demonstrated remarkable speed, innovation and resilience. In this episode of the After the Curve podcast, our life sciences partners join us to discuss the most promising areas of drug discovery and device development that are emerging from the pandemic and the outlook for the industry in a post-COVID-19 world. McDermott’s Chief Marketing Officer, Leslie Tullio, is joined by Stephen Bernstein and Kristian Werling to discuss key topics impacting the life sciences industry today, including:

  • The reasons behind the immunity of life sciences to slowed investments
  • Why more investors are focusing their equity in healthcare and life sciences
  • Promising areas of drug discovery and device development emerging from the pandemic
  • Critical considerations for life science companies regarding rapid regulatory changes
  • Tactics for moving developments forward at an increased speed
  • The importance of Collaborative Transformation to the life sciences industry

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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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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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Connecting the Dots: Six Lessons from a Biotech M&A Case Study

For biotechs, success involves a several year hike through mazes of complex, cross-border, business, scientific, financial and regulatory issues. During this year’s BIO2018 conference in Boston, McDermott gathered a panel of industry leaders and McDermott practitioners and led a case study assessment of cross-border biotech M&A, linking life sciences hubs in Europe, Asia and North America. I had the opportunity to moderate our panel as we walked through the structuring and closing of an M&A transaction that involved the auction of a fictional US biotech company that has oncology platform IP/technology. While the company described in the case study was fictional as such, the company and its circumstances were a composite of McDermott’s actual deals.

Our panel’s examination of this case study yielded valuable insights into the context, cross-border dynamics, practicalities, opportunities and challenges underlying the growing volume of international life sciences M&A deals. For example, here are six takeaways.

  • Take a good look in the mirror. First, differentiate between your company’s wants vs. its needs, said Greg Benning, managing director and head of financial advisory at Back Bay Life Sciences Advisors. Review your company’s access to resources, particularly its near term funding, to make sure you can accomplish your development objectives regardless of whether your M&A aspirations are achieved. Next, conduct an in-depth analysis of the company’s platform and its asset portfolio, and assess how third parties will view it. This process should yield a realistic assessment of actionable alternatives. “Having defined the playing [...]

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