Pfizer Drops a Cool $11.6B on Migraine Leader Biohaven

Pfizer_Pierre Suu/Getty Images

Pierre Suu/Getty Images

Pfizer made the splash of the young week Tuesday morning, inking an acquisition deal with New Haven, Connecticut-based Biohaven Pharma totaling $11.6 billion. Biohaven markets Nurtec ODT, a treatment for acute and episodic prevention of migraine in adults. Biohaven shares rocketed 72% at the news.

Under the terms of the deal, Pfizer is acquiring all outstanding shares of the company not already owned by Pfizer for $148.50 per share in cash. Pfizer is also paying off Biohaven’s third-party debt. This comes to a premium of about 33% of Biohaven’s volume-weighted average selling price of $111.70 over the last three months.

Pfizer already possessed a 2.6% stake in the company as part of a $500 million license and stock deal for the rights to Nurtec outside the United States. The two also were partnered on another migraine pipeline drug of Biohaven’s, zavegepant.

Once the deal closes, Biohaven will continue to operate under the same name and be led by Dr. Vlad Coric, M.D., chairman and chief executive officer along with other members of the current Biohaven management team.

The New Biohaven will be capitalized with $275 million in cash and will be eligible for royalties from Pfizer on any annual net sales of Nurtec and zavegepant in the U.S. in excess of $5.25 billion.

The deal is expected to close by early 2023.

Rimegepant is marketed in the U.S. under the trade name Nurtec ODT and in Europe under the trade name Vydura. Zavegepant was submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in March 2022 and is scheduled for a regulatory acceptance this quarter. The therapeutic is an intranasal spray for acute migraine and is also in development as an oral soft gel for chronic migraine prevention. Biohaven also has five other drugs in its preclinical pipeline.

“Today’s announcement builds on our legacy of delivering breakthroughs for patients living with complex pain disorders and diseases that disproportionately impact women,” said Nick Lagunowich, global president, Pfizer Internal Medicine. “Nurtec ODT, which is already the No. 1 prescribed migraine medicine in its class in the United States, coupled with Biohaven’s CGRP pipeline, offers hope for patients suffering from migraine worldwide.”

Biohaven also reported its first-quarter financials today, recording $319 million in revenues. Nurtec ODT volumes grew 8% from the fourth quarter with net product revenue of $124 million.

“Nurtec ODT continues to be the leading migraine therapy in the oral CGRP class and demonstrated 8% sequential TRx growth compared to the previous quarter. The approval of the prevention indication last year has established Nurtec ODT as the only ‘all-in-one’ migraine therapy and contributed to the substantial year-over-year first-quarter revenue growth of 182%,” Coric said, adding, “Growing Nurtec ODT volume and access for patients requires significant investment…We expect the investments we made in first quarter copay programs will drive volume and net revenue growth for Nurtec ODT in the rest of the year.”

In February, Biohaven initiated enrollment in a Phase II/III trial of Nurtec ODT 75 mg in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis with or without nasal polyps. In April, the company began a trial assessing the drug in patients with temporomandibular disorder.

Biohaven also acquired a Kv7 channel targeting platform from Channel Biosciences in February, which adds to the company’s neuroscience portfolio. The lead asset is BHV-7000, a potential best-in-class potassium channel activator it hopes to take into the clinic this year for focal epilepsy. The company also inked a global license deal with Bristol Myers Squibb for taldefgrobep alpha, a Phase III-ready anti-myostatin adnectin for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). It hopes to launch a Phase III trial in mid-2022.

Biohaven has clearly been busy earning its worth, entering into a license and research collaboration with KU Leuven for first-in-class TRPM3 antagonists for the treatment of chronic pain in January. The company also became the sole sponsor of the National Headache Foundation’s Veterans/Military Outreach program to raise awareness of migraine among active-duty military and veterans. Further, the Global Coalition for Adaptive Research announced at the beginning of the year that Biohaven’s troriluzole and Vigeo Therapeutics’ VT1021 were chosen to participate in GBM AGILE, a platform trial assessing multiple therapies for patients with newly diagnosed and recurrent glioblastoma, a deadly form of brain cancer.

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