Purchases, pandemic, and potential treatments: 2021’s greatest hits

By Jenni Spinner

- Last updated on GMT

(arthobbit/iStock via Getty Images Plus)
(arthobbit/iStock via Getty Images Plus)

Related tags Mergers and acquisitions COVID-19 Fda Cancer Thermo fisher IQVIA Icon Novo nordisk

OSP’s list of the year’s most-read stories shows readers are interested in M&A activities, new drug candidates, COVID-19 developments, and other hot news.

While the global pandemic continued to take up a lot of the industry's time and attention, COVID-19 was far from the only topic piquing our interest this year. The list of most-read stories on Outsourcing-Pharma for 2021 shows mergers and acquisitions, new drug approvals, notable trial results, and other topics also were on our minds--read on to take a look at OSP's top 10 most popular articles for the year.

Thermo Fisher snaps up PPD in $17.4b acquisition deal

As we mentioned above, mergers and acquisitions news items appeared frequently in the list of most-viewed stories for the year. This was a big one—Thermo Fischer Scientific (a significant player in the laboratory instruments and consumables sphere) plunked down $17.4b USD for PPD, a high-profile contract research organization. Read more about the deal and hear insights from company executives.

ICON to acquire PRA Health Sciences in $12b deal

This deal merged two significant fixtures on the CRO landscape: Dublin-based ICON, and Raleigh, North Carolina-based PRA Health Sciences. According to Colin Shannon, PRA’s CEO and chair, “The union of PRA and ICON will create an organization that has the people, data, and technology to bring those cures to patients faster and more efficiently than ever before. Find out more about the multibillion-dollar acquisition.

Revive reports progress with Phase III COVID-19 trial

Like the rest of the world, the drug development industry is keeping watch on advancements in work toward treating and curing the virus behind the ongoing pandemic. In August, OSP shared an update on Revive Therapeutics’ hopeful candidate, a drug currently used as an antirheumatic. Learn more about the Phase III trial and other news around the drug.

CRO Parexel to be acquired by Goldman Sachs in $8.5b deal

Yet another big-dollar M&A deal, this time involving the purchase of a North Carolina-based big CRO by two investment partners: Goldman Sachs and EQT Private Equity. The investors noted they were committed to growing Parexel’s various capabilities and services. See more about the deal and the executives’ plans for the future.

Novo Nordisk weight-management drug lands FDA approval

Millions of people around the globe struggle with excessive weight, despite efforts to eat healthily and keep active. From those particular people, and from Outsourcing-Pharm readers, the news of Wegovy’s (semaglutide) approval by the US Food and Drug administration gained a lot of interest. Learn more about the drug and its FDA thumbs up.

IQVIA completes acquisition of Q2 Diagnostics

The life-science tech and analytics firm already held a majority share of Quest Diagnostics’ Q2; in April, IQVIA snapped up the remaining 40%. A leader from the lab services company noted its new owner will benefit from Q2’s innovation and wide range of capabilities. Read on to learn more about the $760m USD deal. ​ 

Thermo Fisher: $17.4b PPD buy 'natural extension' for pharma

With so many Outsourcing-Pharma readers wanting to know more about Thermo Fisher Scientific’s purchase of PPD, Marc Casper (CEO, president, and chair of Thermo Fisher) delivered. Casper spoke to our editorial team about what made PPD an appealing purchase, the timing of the buy, and their goals for the coming months. Get a look at the executive’s detailed insights and comments here.

Prostate cancer treatment shows major survival benefit

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men (behind only lung cancer). With Noxopharm announcing it had seen positive results from its recent trial of Veyonda (NOX66), the drug firm handed PC patients and their loved ones some hopeful news. Learn more about the drug and hear from the company’s chief medical officer.

Cell therapy showing promise in ALS trials: Coya Therapeutics

Patients dealing with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have not had much to celebrate in the way of new treatments. However, researchers at the company hope they’ve come across research that could change that lack of good news. Read more about the potential treatment and hear from the firm’s CEO.

Pfizer kicks off trial for COVID-19 oral antiviral candidate

The pharmaceutical giant launched a Phase II/III trial testing a treatment for the pandemic-causing virus in the spring. The therapy is aimed at preventing illness in adults who live in the same household as someone who’s received a positive test. Find out more about the treatment and hear from the chief scientific officer.

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