The value of licensing deals in the pharmaceutical industry reached $46.2bn last year, recording a signigicant growth of 37.1% over last year’s $33.7bn, says a whitepaper by GlobalData. The surge in the licensing deal values is attributed primarily to Sanofi’s three sizeable deals worth approximately $9bn.

The whitepaper titled ‘Pharmaceutical Sector Brief – Pharma Licensing Values Soar to New Levels‘, details the deals signed by Sanofi that led to the record values of the licensing deal market. The pharmaceutical company signed a $4.3bn deal with South Korea’s Hanmi Pharma and acquired an exclusive global license to develop and market three type 2 diabetes treatment products in the pipeline. Another deal worth $1.7bn was signed with Lexicon Pharma for sotagliflozin (LX-4211).

“We believe deal prices will continue to rise in 2016.”

Analysing the licensing deals, the GlobalData whitepaper states that the immune-oncology (I-O) space is also witnessing a rise in investment on deals. Sanofi’s third significant deal, valued at $2.7bn, was signed in the I-O market, in order to co-develop Regeneron’s REGN-2810.

Another key deal in the I-O market was the agreement between Pfizer and Merck KGaA to develop and market avelumab (MSB-0010718C). The deal for the potential treatment for multiple metastatic and advanced solid tumours is worth $2.9bn. The treatment is currently in its Phase II of development. Merck KGaA will receive $850m as upfront payment in connection with the deal.

GlobalData’s deals analyst Gianfranco Zeppetelli explains: “Pharma companies are adapting to current market dynamics and positioning themselves for growth through portfolio transformation, targeted deal-making, cost-cutting measures and sharpening their focus on high-performing therapeutic areas and geographic markets.”

“We believe deal prices will continue to rise in 2016, as many big pharma companies look to increase their market share in specific therapeutic areas against their competitors.”