Halozyme Shoots Up on News of $1B+ AbbVie Deal

Published: Jun 04, 2015

Halozyme Shoots Up on News of $1B+ AbbVie Deal
June 3, 2015
By Riley McDermid, BioSpace.com Breaking News Sr. Editor

San Diego, Calif.-based Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. is having a big day Wednesday after announcing it has inked a $1.19 billion deal with AbbVie to develop and sell treatments that marry AbbVie’s drugs to Halozyme’s drug delivery technology.

News of the deal push Halozyme’s shares up 7 percent in premarket trading, a gain that continued into mid-morning.

Under the terms of the deal, Halozyme will receive $23 million upfront, with potential milestone payments of around $130 million per collaboration target met, with as many as nine possible targets.

Halozyme is already in multiple partnership with pharmaceutical heavy hitters include Roche, Pfizer, Janssen and Baxter.

"We are pleased that AbbVie, a global leader in the development of novel therapeutics, has chosen Halozyme's ENHANZE platform to augment their development pipeline," said Helen Torley, president and chief executive officer of Halozyme, in a statement. "AbbVie joins a growing number of top pharmaceutical and biotech companies partnering with Halozyme to develop new formulations that will benefit patients worldwide."

Halozyme said it will use its Enhanze platform, which speeds the dispersion and absorption injectables, to supplement and improve on AbbVie’s drug pipeline and products. Enhanze is based on its patented recombinant human hyaluronidase enzyme (rHuPH20), which has been shown to increase the volume of biologics that can be delivered subcutaneously.

Will PfizerKline Become the Next Pharma Player?
The speculation surrounding a possible bid from Pfizer Inc. for struggling GlaxoSmithKline is heating up, after one closely-watched biotech analyst said in a note last week that Pfizer buying the company would “unlock access to its balance sheet and improve its tax situation.”

Gregg Gilbert, a biotech analyst at Deutsche Bank, wrote in a note to investors “Introducing PfizerKline” that he thinks a deal would be “materially accretive” for both companies. Gilbert estimated that a bid priced at $29.86 a share, via half stock and half cash, which would push up Pfizer’s earnings per share by 10 percent to 16 percent beginning in 2016.

“We believe that the company has a sense of urgency to create value by leveraging the power of its balance sheet to do needle-moving deals,” Gilbert wrote. “Since media reports in the past have pointed to the potential for a Pfizer/GSK combination, we are revisiting that theme.”

We want to know, dear readers, if you agree? Should Glaxo continue going it alone, or might Pfizer buy it and create one of the world’s largest pharma players in history?

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