Insight journal - Technology

Diagnostics partnering: recent life science trends 2009-2014

Posted on 08 July 2014

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Diagnostics are subject to numerous partnering deals every year. Here we provide a review of recent life science trends in deal making activity.

Diagnostics is a branch of medical science, which is a device or substance used for the analysis or detection of a disease or medical condition.

According to the Current Agreements life science deals and alliance database, around 3,000 diagnostics partnering deals were announced since 2009.

The Diagnostics Partnering Terms and Agreements  report provides a detailed understanding and analysis of how and why companies enter diagnostics partnering deals covering the following types of diagnostics:


  • Companion diagnostics
  • Imaging
    • CT
    • Molecular and nuclear
      • PET (Positron Emission Tomography)
      • SPECT( Single photon emission computed tomography)
      • MRI
      • Ultrasound
      • X-Ray
      • Angiography
      • Fluoroscopy
      • Mammography
      • In vitro diagnostics
      • Molecular diagnostics
      • Prognostics
      • Theranostics

The following figure shows overall diagnostics partnering frequency between 2009 and June 2014.

Figure 1: Diagnostics partnering since 2009

diagnostics 1







Source: Current Agreements, 2014

Diagnostic partnering has always seen a high level of partnering deal frequency since 2009. Year 2010 was particularly popular in diagnostics dealmaking with 720 deals announced only that year. On an average, about 583 deals have been announced in the last five years.

With the onset of newer diseases so often, diagnostic tools reveal the onset and spread of the diseases and prove to be an indispensable tool for treatments. According to Current Agreements, big pharma and big biotech companies are very active, as are other pharmaceutical and biotech companies in signing deals involving diagnostics assets.

The figure below shows the most active players in the arena of diagnostics dealmaking. GE healthcare tops the list with 114 partnership deals announced since 2009. GE Healthcare specializes in diagnostic technology and services and has a broad expertise in medical imaging and drug delivery technologies. The company mainly enters into collaborative R&D agreements for hospital care, cancer and cardiovascular therapy areas with other biopharma companies sharing their knowledge and expertise in this area.

Figure 2: Diagnostics partnering leading dealmakers since 2009

diagnostics 2









Source: Current Agreements, 2014

The following figure shows diagnostics deal making by diagnostics technology type. It is observed that the vast majority or deals are made for imaging followed closely by companion diagnostics  showing promise in the development of this emerging technology.

Figure 3: Diagnostics partnering by technology type since 2009

diagnostics 3













Source: Current Agreements, 2014

Oncology is a popular area for diagnostic dealmaking with over 1200 deals signed since 2009. Other therapeutic focus areas in diagnostic partnering are infectives and cardiovascular.

Figure 4: Diagnostics partnering by therapeutic area since 2009

diagnostics 4
















Source: Current Agreements, 2014

Interest has been particularly focused on working with cancer diagnostics in the last decade. With advancements in imaging and companion diagnostics, big pharma companies are in the lookout for out licensing diagnostics technology for their research in cancer.

An example would be the recent deal where AstraZeneca entered into a collaborative R&D and licensing agreement with Horizon Discovery for oncology-related genotypes

As an emerging and exciting area for therapeutic intervention, diagnostics deal making can have a high headline deal value. The following figure shows the leading diagnostic deals by headline value of the deal when announced between 2009 and 2014.

Figure 5: Top diagnostic deals by value since 2009

diagnostics 5










Source: Current Agreements, 2014

Life sciences industries are banking hugely on the growth of diagnostics market. With more and more companies merging to enhance development of diagnostic therapeutics (Eg: Agilent Technologies acquiring Dako for $2.2 billion), partnering trends are going to see rapid changes in the future.

The recently updated Diagnostics Partnering Terms and Agreements report published by Current Partnering provides full details of over 3,000 diagnostic deals announced since 2009 and includes average deal terms including headline, upfront, milestone and royalty rates, where available. In addition, the report provides details of deals broken down by deal type, stage of development, company A-Z and technology type. More details here


The above information has been abstracted from the following resources:

Shamini Thiagarajan


Read: more diagnostics deals in pharma, biotech, life science partnering deal news, insights and glossary

View: glossary definition for diagnostics

View: Other technology type reports

Read article: Companion Diagnostics: recent life science industry trends

View: CP Insight Partnering Scorecard – view top life science partnering deals by value

View: CP Insight Journal – the latest deal trend infographics for life science deal making

Subscribe: Current Agreements life sciences partnering, M&A and financing deals database – find out more

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