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4 Biotech Acquisitions We'd Like to See in 2022

Are some major acquisitions on the way in the biopharmaceutical industry this year? That remains to be seen. But there are some deals that Motley Fool contributors Brian Orelli and Keith Speights hope will happen. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on Jan. 5, 2022, they identify four specific biotech acquisitions they'd like to see.

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Keith Speights: Let's switch gears. There weren't that many biotech acquisitions in 2021, at least, not compared to other previous years. There were a few, but not as many. Brian, what are some acquisitions that you'd like to see take place in the biopharmaceutical world in 2022.

Brian Orelli: I'd like to see Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) acquire Seagen (NASDAQ: SGEN). I own Seagen. There would be some synergies on the commercial sales side. Seagen has quite a few oncology drugs that would work well with the Bristol-Myers drugs. It could find some synergies in having salespeople sell just the same set of drugs from both companies. But I think there's also a good fit on Seagen's pipeline too.

Specifically, Seagen has an anti-TIGIT antibody. It's in phase 1, so we don't really know how well it works yet. But TIGIT's an immune checkpoint inhibitor, so I think that would pair potentially quite nicely with Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo.

They could develop that in combination. I think that would potentially drive sales of Opdivo. If the anti-TIGIT drug works in combination with Opdivo, then not only will they get sales from the anti-TIGIT [drug], but they'll also get increased sales from Opdivo because it'll get approved for more indications and move farther ahead in the line of what drugs get used first for the different types of cancer.

Then I'll throw one more out -- Vertex (NASDAQ: VRTX) buying CRISPR Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CRSP). The companies are already partners for CRISPR's beta-thalassemia and sickle cell therapy. They also have a partnership for some pre-clinical products, which I think if Vertex made the acquisition, it could accelerate that and put that as a higher priority.

The downside is that I'm not really sure Vertex wants to get into the CAR-T business, which is basically the other half of CRISPR's clinical pipeline. I don't know, maybe they could out-license those. That's the downside there. Any you had ideas about?

Speights: Yeah. Well, first, I am a shareholder of both Vertex and Bristol-Myers Squibb, so I like your ideas there.

Just briefly, very quickly, I think Biogen (NASDAQ: BIIB) needs to make an acquisition -- ticker for Biogen is BIIB. Perhaps Axsome Therapeutics (NASDAQ: AXSM) -- ticker there's AXSM -- might be a good fit for Biogen.

Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD) also has not been shy about making smaller deals. There's a company called Adicet Bio (NASDAQ: ACET), ticker there is ACET, I believe. I think Adicet might be a good fit for Gilead, as it's developing off-the-shelf CAR-T therapies. I think those could be intriguing deals for the new year.

Brian Orelli, PhD owns Seagen Inc. and Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Keith Speights owns Bristol Myers Squibb and Vertex Pharmaceuticals. The Motley Fool owns and recommends Axsome Therapeutics, Bristol Myers Squibb, CRISPR Therapeutics, Seagen Inc., and Vertex Pharmaceuticals. The Motley Fool recommends Biogen and Gilead Sciences. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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