Placing a significant bet on Seagan, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) on Monday said it would pay $229 per share in a cash deal that values the biotech company at $43 billion and add innovative targeted therapies to its portfolio of cancer treatments.
As it braces for a steep fall in COVID-19 product sales and sets its course out of the pandemic and back into mainstream pharma, Monday's deal will bulk up Pfizer's portfolio, adding four approved cancer therapies that brought in nearly $2 billion in combined sales in 2022.
The Washington-based Seagan specializes in antibody-drug conjugates, or ADCs, and has been a favorite for investors. These precision medicines deliver cancer-killing drugs potent enough that they might otherwise be too toxic to use.
In premarket trading Monday, Seagan shares climbed 16%, bringing its market value to $37.3 billion while marking the biggest takeover of this year, according to Bloomberg data.
Pfizer Chairman & CEO Dr. Albert Bourla said, "Pfizer is deploying its financial resources to advance the battle against cancer, a leading cause of death worldwide with a significant impact on public health." ADCs "are turbo charge guided missiles that are attacking the cancer cells and can make a huge difference," he added.
A substantial slowdown in COVID-19 vaccine sales and looming patent expirations for some of Pfizer's largest drugs, including Xeljanz in 2025 and Eliquis in 2026, has the company scrambling to replace the lost sales.
While the addition of Seagan would only make a slight difference to Pfizer's top line in the near term, it could become a significant contributor in several years. Pfizer sees Seagan generating more than $10 billion in revenue by 2030, with substantial growth after that.
Elsewhere, Pfizer rival Merck & Co Inc. (NYSE:MRK) and Seagan were in advanced deal talks last year. Still, the deal fell through reportedly over antitrust concerns as well as stalling over price disputes, and whether the Pfizer-Seagan deal ultimately receives regulatory clearance remains to be seen.
Generally, investors are optimistic about the deal as it would transform Pfizer into an oncology juggernaut, adding Adcetris for lymphoma, Padcev for bladder cancers, Tivdak for cervical cancer, and breast cancer treatment Tukysa to its portfolio.
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