ImageWith some deals, such as Pfizer-Wyeth, already sealed this year, all other drugmakers appear to be on the hunt for their own partner. That could create a “perfect storm” for an uptick in partnerships and acquisitions through the rest of 2009, according to Leerink Swann Healthcare Equity Research.

“In biopharma, we see an unprecedented confluence of highly motivated buyers (large- and mid-cap biopharma companies with substantial portfolio gaps but a surplus of cash) and sellers (biotechnology companies holding valuable assets but desperate for cash),” Leerink Swann analysts said in a research report.

The potential buyer with the greatest combination of urgency and therefore investor mandate and available cash is Bristol-Myers. The company could go for a series of smaller acquisitions for less money, however, than pursuing one mega-deal.

On the acquisition side, Leerink Swann sees 10 likely targets with attractive assets, identified by a value and/or analyst screen, including Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Biodel Inc, Elan Corp, and Inspire Pharma.

On the partnership side, Leerink Swann said it expects deals could be imminent for Cardiome Pharma Corp’s oral vernakalant and Inspire Pharam’s denufosol.

Meanwhile, much investor attention focuses on companies such as Schering Plough, Bristol-Myers and Sanofi-Aventis pursuing deals.

It seems that regardless of the name in pharam these days, there seems to some storm of rumors brewing on the horizon.