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Genomics Sector Limbers Up for Its Own M&A Boom; Diversity Matters

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 7 - Taking the lead from the broader biotech sector, US-based genomics tool and technology firms have entered into a state of increased consolidation, a leading industry analyst said.


Speaking privately with a reporter after a panel discussion about the current frenzy of biotech M&A activity, Douglas Braunstein, global head of mergers and acquisitions for JPMorgan H&Q, stressed that tool and tech companies with the best chance of tying the knot are those with a diverse portfolio.


"The tools and technology segment [of the genomics sector] is one in which you will see substantial amount of consolidation," said Braunstein. "The fundamentals of the [genomics] industry, from the tools standpoint, are one that having a diverse portfolio makes sense" because it help facilitate the customers they serve.


Nuptials that will not likely be celebrated, however, are the kinds between pharma or biotech firms with genomics tool or technology companies. While he didn't discount them wholesale, he said, "I don't think the logic is there." "Because, in part, you have the inherent conflict between your customers"—pharma and biotech companies—"and yourself," the tool maker.


The panel discussion at which Braunstein spoke, called "The Rationale for Mergers and Acquisitions in Biotechnology," was held during the 20th annual JPMorgan H&Q Healthcare Conference, held here through Thursday.