The latest insights on M&A activity in the life sciences commercial vendors

As part of our LINX bio-pharma vendor review, Zensights is pleased to share an update on merger activity to help our clients understand the market activity that may impact their supplier relationships.

Key M&A highlights in Q2 2023:

  • Overall Activity: Merger activity in the second quarter of 2023 contracted significantly. Of the firms we monitor for our clients, there were five mergers in the quarter versus ten in Q1 2022, nine in Q4 2022, and eleven in Q3 2022. This reduction is consistent with broader M&A activity across the economy.
  • Syneos Health: Activity by PE firms making large commitments to life sciences suppliers continued with the purchase of Syneos by a consortium of investment firms. This move follows a number of similar moves by other PE-backed companies rolling up multiple capabilities and taking private both medium-sized and large firms. As identified in our last quarterly update, we continue to monitor this dynamic in the market to support our clients in maximizing the opportunity from this consolidation and to help them minimize the potential negative impact on their business as they manage through these changes.
  • Market Complexity: A recurring theme in the messaging by acquirers and targets about the M&A activity in the commercial supplier space (i.e., the firms we monitor) is that suppliers are broadening and deepening capabilities to help their clients navigate ever-more-complex commercial landscapes. Suppliers are responding to challenges from their clients for more comprehensive and therapy-class-specific solutions to their commercial challenges. Clients are increasingly demanding that suppliers integrate disparate solutions rather than do it themselves.

2023 Q2 Activity

In the second quarter of 2023, M&A activity reduced significantly, with five deals announced in the firms we monitor for our clients. The following deals were identified:

1. Fingerpaint buys MYND (April 2023)

Fingerpaint Group announced that it purchased the market access marketing firm MYND. The global president of Fingerpaint Group explained that this deal expands the focus on market access for Fingerpaint and brings extensive market access strategy, research, and launch experience across multiple categories. He explained that clients expect their suppliers to expand their market access capabilities, and Fingerpaint is committed to meeting those expectations.

2. Makara Health acquired by Precision Value & Health (April 2023)

Precision Value & Health announced it acquired Makara Health, a UK-based international healthcare communication agency. This acquisition expands Precision’s capabilities in Europe and the UK by adding Makara’s capabilities in learning and development, medical and patient education, PR, and brand promotion. Precision explained that this acquisition will allow European customers to receive a broader array of services from Precision.

3. Syneos Health acquired by PE firms (May 2023)

Syneos Health was taken private by a consortium of investment firms for $4.46 billion, including Elliott Investment Management (“Elliott”), Patient Square Capital (“Patient Square”), and Veritas Capital (“Veritas”). Syneos helps pharmaceutical companies with clinical trials and marketing their drugs. Reuters reported that Syneos has been facing challenges in winning new business as many of its clients, including small and medium-sized biotech firms, have cut spending amid difficulties raising funding in a post-covid downturn.

4. Boundless Medical Communication was created with resources from Boundless Life Sciences and Fuse Health (June 2023)

FUSE Health and Boundless Life Sciences are combining resources and establishing a new US-based firm Boundless Medical Communication to serve the global life sciences industry. The two existing firms and the new firm are all part of the Next Practices Group, a founder-driven network of firms that creatively solve problems using emerging technology and their capabilities in communications, marketing, public affairs, security, software, analytics, social purpose, and digital media. The team’s offerings will include a proprietary advisor and influencer management system to be paired with data science and analytics capabilities to build a new model in key online influence mapping, in addition to other capabilities required by client firms throughout the life of a health product.

5. Calcium+Company buys scientific comms agency CSG Health Group (June 2023)

Calcium+Company announced it has acquired CSG Health Group, a scientific communications agency focusing on education content and strategies for healthcare professionals. Calcium+Company explained that this purchase is the latest milestone in the firm’s expansion and transformation efforts.