Pfizer Wins Seagen Sweepstakes with $43B Bid

Pictured: Pfizer Building/Courtesy of Pierre Suu Getty Images

Pictured: Pfizer building/Courtesy of Pierre Suu, Getty Images

Hours after Sanofi and Provention Bio announced what could have been the biopharma deal of the day, Pfizer topped it, revealing itself as the winner of the Seagen sweepstakes.

Pfizer will acquire the Seattle-based antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) leader in a $43 billion deal expected to close late in 2023 or early 2024.

News of talks between the two companies were first reported February 26 by The Wall Street Journal.  

Seagen considered Merck a suitor last year but ultimately stalled over pricing. Merck was reportedly willing to pay more than $200 a share for what would have been a $40 billion deal.

Pfizer’s price came in at $229 a share.

At $43 billion, the acquisition doesn’t quite crack the top 10 list of biopharma deals, but it’s close. The transaction will land just below Statista’s number 10 - Roche’s $46.8 billion buy of Genentech in 2009.

This deal adds Seagen’s ADC tech to Pfizer’s strength and size “to advance the battle against cancer,” said Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, in a prepared statement.

This is the company's first big post-COVID-19 splash. 

“Pfizer needs to build pipeline in wake of COVID decline," Lorraine Marchand, an instructor in biotechnology management and entrepreneurship at Yeshiva University told BioSpace in an email.

"Oncology is still a lucrative area and positions [Pfizer] against BMS and Genentech," Marchand said. 

Pfizer believes Seagen’s current 12% year-over-year expected growth will continue to expand to more than $10 billion in revenue by 2030.

Four of Seagen’s drugs are already FDA-approved to treat types of breast, cervical and bladder cancers and lymphoma. Clinical development is underway to expand these drugs to new indications and includes more tumor types.

Seagen’s pipeline includes nearly a dozen new molecules ripe for development by Pfizer and next-gen tech for ADCs and other antibody platforms like bi-specific antibodies.

Joining Pfizer and Seagen in the M&A game Monday were Sanofi and Provention Bio, who notched a $2.9 billion deal in the week's early hours. 

The buyout brings Sanofi some extra security in a diabetes market rocked by recent pressure from U.S. lawmakers to lower insulin prices. 

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