Like the quest to discover a new medicine, pulling off a successful mega-deal is a frustrating and elusive experiment. Tokyo-based drugmaker Takeda understands the difficulty of both. Although boss Christophe Weber will have plenty to celebrate on the upcoming fifth anniversary of his landmark $62 billion Shire acquisition, the deal has delivered no value to his shareholders.

Novo Nordisk (wants to buy more companies with drugs in early- to mid-stages of development through “bolt-on” deals of up to a few billion dollars, CEO Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen told Reuters on Friday.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to recede, the top pharma companies intensified their focus into areas such as cancer and metabolic diseases to build up their pipelines, and their growth prospects, for the future.

The company is open to making big acquisitions if they make “sense”, Chief Executive Thomas Schinecker said, with the Swiss drugmaker unencumbered by its $20.7 billion deal last year to buy back its shares from Novartis.

A downward spiral has continued into 2023, with many good companies laying off employees and shuttering promising clinical programs as they’ve tried to keep the lights on until the dark times are behind us and they again have access to capital. In the midst of such hardships, few companies have chosen to go public.

The Federal Trade Commission seeks to codify its heavier-handed approach, already displayed by its actions regarding Amgen’s acquisition of Horizon, among other deals.

The deal is the first large acquisition under new CEO Christopher Viehbacher as he seeks to return the drugmaker to growth.

The new guidelines mark a significant shift in the approach to examining mergers in the pharma industry. Previously, the federal government’s antitrust enforcers primarily focused on direct competition, but the updated guidelines now consider how companies leverage their negotiating power.

Chinook has a leading compound designed to treat IgA Nephropathy, or IgAN, a rare disease that can lead to kidney failure in young adults which has attracted a range of developers and is already the target of drug candidate developed by Novartis.

Blockbuster deals are on the rise as drug manufacturers navigate through patent cliffs, pricing pressures, and evolving regulations while M&A activity remains an integral part of the strategic landscape.