Pfizer takes out the checkbook again.
The group is taking advantage of the stream of income it achieves with its covid vaccine to accelerate its expansion with the purchase of companies in the sector with innovative treatments.
The latest operation, announced on Monday, is the acquisition of Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT), a San Francisco-based biotech specialized in hematology, for 5.4 billion dollars (about 5.3 billion dollars).
The operation is the fourth purchase made by the pharmaceutical giant in the last year.
Last May, it acquired Biohaven Pharmaceutical, a biotech specializing in neurological diseases and rare disorders whose main product is a treatment for migraines, both chronic and acute, for $11.6 billion, its biggest deal in six years.
In December 2021, it announced the purchase of Arena Pharmaceuticals, which develops various treatments against inflammatory autoimmune diseases for 6,700 million dollars, an operation already closed last March.
In April, it acquired ReViral, the British biotechnology company specializing in antiviral therapies, for 525 million.
GBT is a biotechnology company whose main product is Oxybryta, which treats sickle cell anemia or sickle cell disease (SCD), an inherited disease that affects red blood cells and can only be cured with a bone marrow transplant.
Normally, red blood cells are round and flexible to move easily through blood vessels, but in sickle cell anemia, some red blood cells are sickle-shaped or crescent-shaped, making them stiff and sticky, which can slow blood flow. or block blood flow, explains the Mayo Clinic.
The drug, which already bills close to 200 million dollars a year, facilitates blood circulation in people with this disease, which suffers from about 100,000 people in the United States and about 20 million worldwide,
“The acquisition complements and further enhances Pfizer’s more than 30-year heritage in rare hematology and reinforces the company’s commitment to PCE, bringing a leading portfolio and expertise and a portfolio of products with the potential to address the full spectrum. of critical needs in this underserved community,” Pfizer said in its statement.
GBT has two other promising compounds in clinical trials for hematologic diseases.
"If approved, GBT and Oxbryta's portfolio of products have the potential to create a franchise that could achieve combined peak worldwide sales of more than $3 billion," Pfizer said in its statement.
Pfizer pays $68.5 per share in cash, which means valuing the company at $5.4 billion, including debt and cash.
That's nearly double what the shares were worth last week, before rumors of the deal sent prices skyrocketing.
The Wall Street Journal
reported on Friday that both companies were in advanced negotiations.
The boards of directors of both companies have approved the transaction, subject to regulatory approvals.
Pfizer wants to prepare for when the sales of the covid vaccine, which already represent half of its income, begin to decline.
The company aims to add some 25,000 million in sales in new products by 2030 thanks to its acquisition policy.