Global Pharma and Life Sciences deals insights: Q1 2019

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Robust PLS deal activity during Q1 2019 set the stage for an expected busy market throughout the remainder of the year

While the quarter included three megadeals that pushed deal value significantly higher, including BMS’ announced acquisition of Celgene early in January, deal volume also increased relative to Q1 2018. Q1 2019’s deal activity highlighted both the need for scale to compete long term, as well as the recent theme of focusing on innovation and the ability to leverage big data for sustained success within the sector.

Number of announced transactions decline, value increases vs. Q4 2018

Deal value in Q1 2019 was the highest the sector has seen in the past eight quarters, while the number of deals was the second lowest the sector has seen over the same period.

Deal volume decreased in Q1 2019 for the second consecutive quarter, while staying within the range experienced over the last two years.

The sector saw three megadeals this quarter, totaling approximately $129B in value, compared to Q4 2018 which only saw two megadeals with a combined total of $11B in value.

The large spikes in deal value during Q2 2017, Q2 2018, and Q1 2019 were all driven by significant megadeal activity.


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Glenn Hunzinger

US Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Deals Leader, PwC US

James Woods

Principal, US Deals, PwC US

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