Biotech mergers and acquisitions had a near-record year in 2008, amounting to $28.5 billion in the U.S. alone, according to a report from Ernst & Young Global. Takeda Pharmaceutical topped the list of U.S. deals with its $8.8 billion acquisition of Millennium Pharmaceuticals. Novartis' $932 million purchase of Speedel Holding turned out to be the most expensive biotech purchase in Europe last year.

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