The life sciences and health care sector experienced record-high M&A values in 2018. Consolidation in the sector was abundant, including through a number of mega-deals where incumbents looked to cement their market positions in the face of competition from market disrupters.

Large strategic actors also showed a willingness to execute bold deals given the industry-wide appetite for new technologies. Opportunities in growth markets where rising incomes have bolstered demand for health care services sparked further cross-border deal activity.

Our Life Sciences and Health Care sector group continued to help clients tackle the issues shaping the future of the industry. We published our annual LS&HC Horizons, a compilation of our global team’s perspectives on more than 30 hot topics impacting the industry such as digital health, cell and gene therapies, drug pricing, and M&A trends.

We also spoke on many of these topics at client events throughout the year, including a series of client dinners hosted in partnership with STAT, the health-oriented news website.

Celgene

We advised Celgene Corporation on its up to US$7bn acquisition of Impact Biomedicines, a developer of fedratinib, a promising potential treatment for myelofibrosis, a bone marrow disorder.

Myelofibrosis is a disease with high unmet medical need, as the number of patients who are ineligible for, or become resistant to, existing therapy continues to increase. Impact Biomedicine’s fedratinib provides strategic options for Celgene on this disease.

An M&A team from New York led this deal, with support from our antitrust, employee benefits, employment, environment, regulatory, and tax practices.

LabCorp

We advised LabCorp on its US$670m sale of Covance Food Solutions, a provider of product design and product integrity services for the food supply industry, to Eurofins Scientific.

This transaction allows LabCorp to focus on its core mission of improving health and improving lives and also better positions Covance Food Solutions to serve the global food supply industry.

A global team was led by M&A lawyers in our Baltimore, New York, and Philadelphia offices, with support from lawyers in our cybersecurity, employee benefits, employment, environment, finance, litigation, pensions, regulatory, and tax practices.

Novartis

We advised Novartis on its US$8.7bn acquisition of AveXis Inc., a U.S. clinical-stage gene therapy biotech company that is developing a treatment for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) Type 1, the number one genetic cause of death in infants.

This transaction helps Novartis bring children the first one-time, gene-based treatment for SMA. The deal also supports Novartis’ strategy to deliver transformative innovation in areas of high unmet medical need and advances its growing pipeline of gene therapies.

An M&A team in New York and Washington, D.C. led this transaction for Hogan Lovells, with support from lawyers in our employment, litigation, real estate, regulatory, and tax practices.

Wake Forest Baptist Health

We advised Wake Forest Baptist Health (WFBH), a leading U.S. academic medical center, on its acquisition of High Point Regional Health, a health system consisting of a 351-bed acute care hospital, physician practice, cancer center, ambulatory surgery centers, and related businesses, collectively serving more than 300,000 people annually, from University of North Carolina Health Care System.

This acquisition is an important expansion for WFBH and enhances its ability to offer high-quality integrated health care services throughout the Triad region of North Carolina.

An M&A team from our Washington, D.C. and New York offices led this deal, with support from our health, employee benefits, employment, environment, finance, regulatory, and tax practices.

Read next: Real Estate M&A