Out of the top-five deals made in 2007, four came in the first half of the year.

It seems like wallets were being emptied for acquisitions more in the first half of 2007. In the first six months, four of the five biggest buyouts were reported, totaling $39.2 billion.

AstraZeneca made the biggest bid during 2007 of $15.6 billion for MedImmune to step into the vaccine market. The company’s pipeline received a tremendous boost with the number of development programs growing by 300%. Even the share of biologics rose almost fourfold. More.

Schering-Plough ponied up $14.4 billion for Organon BioSciences. The purchase added five Phase III candidates. Organon BioSciences was the human and animal healthcare businesses of Akzo Nobel. More.

Mylan Laboratories proved too strong for the competition with its $6.6 billion bid for Merck KGaA’s generics business. The transaction bolstered Mylan’s already strong position in the copy-cat business segment and strengthened its foothold outside of the U.S. More.

Eisai proposed to buy out MGI Pharma to fuel its oncology franchise and enhance its share of the U.S. market. Reported in December 2007, it is the only deal made in the second half of 2007 to make it into the top-five list. Some burden may be taken off Eisai’s shoulders once the patent covering cash cow Aricept expires. More.

Roche’s $3 billion hostile offer to acquire Ventana Medical Systems sparked a battle that is still unresolved. Ventana has taken an unwavering stand that it is worth more. After three extensions, Roche was able to bring over less than 1% of Ventana shareholders to its side. Most recently, however, the firms inked a confidentiality agreement allowing Roche to commence due diligence with access to nonpublic information. More.

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