Insight journal - Therapy

Oncology partnering – recent deals analysis 2009-2014

Posted on 14 July 2014

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Partnering in the last decade has seen an increase in oncology partnering with an increase in modern diagnostic technologies, according to recent partnering deals analysis.

Oncology is a branch of science that deals with tumors and cancers.

According to the Current Agreements, oncology partnering has been the most widely chosen therapeutic area for collaborative R&D, licensing and marketing deal making among big pharma and biotech, smaller healthcare industries and academic institutions.

The data in this deals analysis article has been sourced from the newly published Oncology Partnering Terms and Agreements report

The following figure shows oncology partnering frequency between 2009 and July 2014.

Figure 1: Oncology partnering since 2009










Source: Current Agreements, 2014

It is evident that partnering activity has increased steadily since 2009. As we enter into the month of July, this year has already seen 284 oncology partnering deals suggesting many more to come this year.

According to Current Agreements, big pharma and big biotech companies are very active in oncology deal making. However, biotech companies have been the most active in recent years collaborating with several big pharma companies in the development stage of compounds.

An example to cite would be the recent deal where Merck & Co. pledged $100 million in a collaborative R&D and licensing agreement for cancer therapeutic antibodies to Agenus Bioclick here for more on this deal.

The following figure provides an overview of oncology partnering by major industry sector since 2009

Figure 2: Oncology partnering by industry sector since 2009














Source: Current Agreements, 2014

Analysis from our Current Agreements database, suggests that the vast majority or deals are made at the discovery stage showing promise in the development of compounds in this therapy area.

Figure 3: Oncology partnering by stage of development since 2009











Source: Current Agreements, 2014

Oncology, being an exciting and thriving area showing promise in better treatments, can have a high headline deal value.

The following figure shows the leading biomarker deals by headline value of the deal when announced between 2009 and July 2014

 Figure 4: Top Oncology deals by value since 2009














Source: Current Agreements, 2014

Oncology partnering is often targeted towards one of more specific oncology indications. Some of the popular and commonly partnered oncology therapeutics indications are breast, lung, solid tumors, prostate and colorectal cancer. The following figure illustrates all the individual oncology therapeutic indications recorded in our database.

Figure 5: Oncology partnering by individual therapeutics area since 2009























Source: Current Agreements, 2014

The Oncology Partnering Terms and Agreements report published by Current Partnering provides full details of over 3,000 oncology 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, specific individual therapy area and technology type. More details here


The above information has been abstracted from the following resources:

Shamini Thiagarajan



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

View: glossary definition for oncology partnering

ReportOncology Partnering Terms and Agreements

View also: Other specific oncology indication reports

View: Current Partnering’s Insight Partnering Scorecard – view top life science partnering deals by value

View: Current Partnering’s Insight Deal Metrics – the latest deal trend infographics for life science deal making

View: Current Partnering’s Big Pharma Deal Making Scorecard – latest trends in big pharma deal making activity

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Signup: Current Agreements Deals Review – monthly newsletter – reviewing the previous month’s life science deal making – partnering, M&A and financing – sign up now

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