Debevoise Healthcare Partners Discuss the Healthcare Sector’s M&A Activity and Regulation

2 April 2021

Three partners from the Healthcare and Life Sciences group of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP recently discussed the healthcare sector’s increased pace and volume of M&A activity, the novel drivers of that activity and expected regulatory changes under the Biden administration in a feature Q&A with Law360.

On why healthcare is such a hot space when it comes to M&A right now, Kevin Rinker, who is also co-chair of the firm’s M&A practice, cited the mix of activity across a few different subsectors, the trend of consolidation in the healthcare technology space and an increase in provider side activity, especially from private equity firms investing in smaller physician offices. He also said that some companies, which were preoccupied with the pandemic, will likely revisit M&A strategies as we near the end of the pandemic.

Paul D. Rubin, co-head of the Healthcare group and head of the FDA Regulatory practice, addressed regulatory movement by the Biden administration in the healthcare sector and the impact of regulation on the industry and its deal activity. He said that the Biden administration is maintaining COVID as its first priority, and that many agency resources are being put toward expediting the approval and review processes for vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics. In addition to resolving COVID, Mr. Rubin explained there is increased interest in domestic onshoring of manufacturing capabilities for essential drugs and devices. This interest was a high priority under former president Donald Trump and remains a high priority under President Biden.

On whether the rate of M&A activity in the healthcare sector will slow down anytime soon, Jennifer Chu, who is also an M&A partner, said there are many driving factors for healthcare deal activity, noting that the “healthcare sector” is not really a single sector, so she believes M&A in healthcare will continue to be active. She explained that the trends we see in healthcare M&A activity are propelled by intrinsic changes and demands that show little sign of abating, such as the need for more efficiency in the healthcare system, the focus on better patient outcomes and quality of care and the utilization of technological innovations.

Read the Q&A here.

Debevoise’s Healthcare & Life Sciences Group employs a highly coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to address transactional, litigation and intellectual property matters for leading healthcare & life sciences companies and for private equity firms investing in the industry. The team provides integrated, cross practice legal advice covering all aspects of healthcare & life sciences matters, including corporate and M&A, litigation and compliance, FDA/FTC regulatory, intellectual property, including licensing and collaboration agreements, and cyber security & data privacy.