Dr. Deirdre Gillespie began working in pharmaceutical clinical research in the mid-1980s. In the early 1990s, she started focusing on pharmaceutical business development. Since then, Deirdre Gillespie, M.D., has led several biotechnology and pharmaceutical businesses, among them La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company, where she served as CEO for six years. Dr. Gillespie presently serves as CEO of Invigor Consulting in San Diego, through which she offers operational and leadership advice and services to biopharma businesses.
The global biopharma industry continues to experience a boom in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in 2014 after the record-breaking activity of the year before. Earlier this year, PricewaterhouseCoopers reported that the pharma industry experienced a $45 billion increase in the value of 2013 M&A deals compared with the previous year. That increase marks a more than 45 percent growth in deal values over 2012, which by all accounts proved a poor performance year for biopharma companies.
In 2014, the biopharma M&A activity shows no sign of slowdown. During the second quarter, news outlets reported that industry deal values reached $93 billion, their highest since 2009. Earlier in the year, Pfizer walked away from a $118 billion offer to purchase AstraZeneca after months of negotiations between the two companies fell through. Had the deal gone through, the merger would have been the industry’s largest. And, as of June 2014, Valeant Pharmaceuticals continues to woo Botox maker Allergan in an offer valued at more than $50 billion.