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The total number of deals in the global gene therapy market more than doubled from 16 in 2013 to 36 in 2014, with their combined value rising spectacularly from $122.8 million to $4.9 billion over the same period, representing a forty-fold increase, says research and consulting firm GlobalData.
The company's latest report states that merger and acquisition (M&A) activity is typically low in the gene therapy field, as the technology remains highly experimental and the majority of products are in early-stage clinical development.
Despite this, the impressive growth in the overall deals value for 2014 was boosted primarily by Abbott Laboratories' $2.9 billion acquisition of CFR Pharmaceuticals (CFR), a Chilean biotechnology company developing gene therapeutics for alcoholism and chronic pain.
CFR has a product in its clinic that targets aldehyde dehydrogenase, an enzyme produced in the liver and kidneys aiding alcohol rejection.
Mr Adam Dion, GlobalData's senior industry analyst, says: "Licensing and partnerships, together with capital raisings, have represented the largest number of gene therapy deals struck since 2009.