PE HUB Healthcare Wire Highlights, 4.18.19

Healthcare outbreaks: TPG gets behind drugmaking, others seek opportunities at HCIT-payer intersection

Good morning, healthcare fanatics.

Many of you are probably aware of the measles outbreak in the U.S., with the total number rising to 555 this year as of Monday, the CDC said.

More than half of those were in New York City. The first program to be closed by the city, a preschool at a yeshiva in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, shut down April 15 after it violated a Health Department order, New York Times reported.

That’s not all. The Times this month has also written a series of articles about a mysterious drug-resistant infection caused by the C. auris bacteria that is showing up in hospitals worldwide. Scary stuff.

From a private equity perspective, biopharma and pharma have remained a segment of high interest, with bulge-bracket firms including Bain Capital and Blackstone Group having set up investment vehicles to invest exclusively in life sciences.

The numbers also speak to investor appetite: Biopharma buyouts maintained near record levels in 2018, totaling $16.5 billion across 79 deals, compared with $17 billion across 62 deals in 2017, according to the Global Healthcare Private Equity and Corporate M&A reportpublished yesterday by Bain & Co. The sector saw the second-highest level of volume last year after provider services. (More on the report below.)

This week I got the chance to speak with TPG’s John Schilling, who co-leads the firm’s healthcare team. TPG recently contributed to a $235 million funding in AskBio, a gene-therapy company focused on rare and typically untreatable genetic diseases.

The context through which TPG has historically looked at the pharmaceutical space, Schilling said, is by evaluating: “What are the areas that we’re going to see meaningful advances in technology, and most importantly, meaningful advances in patient care?”


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