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SAN FRANCISCO — Within the first hours of the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, four life science companies had already announced acquisitions worth roughly $4.5 billion in total, raising hopes that this could be a more active year for pharma mergers and acquisitions.

The individual deals are modest in size. But life science observers have been eager for any indication that things will pick up after last year, when $40 billion out of $60 billion in total deal value came from just two transactions — Amgen buying Horizon and Pfizer acquiring Biohaven.


The recent flurry of announcements suggests that 2023 could be different. And the action actually began on Sunday, before the formal start of JPM, with Italian pharma firm Chiesi Farmaceutici announcing plans to expand its rare disease research by acquiring Irish firm Amryt Pharma in a deal worth up to $1.48 billion.

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