Pfizer acquires Arena Pharmaceuticals in a $6.7 billion deal

A person walks past the Pfizer Headquarters building in New York, November 9, 2020.

Carlo Allegri | Reuters

Pfizer said Monday it will buy the drug developer Arena Pharmaceuticals for $6.7 billion in cash, to add a promising treatment candidate targeting diseases that affect the stomach and intestines.

The $100-per-share offer is more than double Arena stock’s last closing price, up 92% to $95.90 in pre-market trading.

This is the latest deal Pfizer made this year to expand the processing pipeline. Last month, the company acquired immuno-oncology company Trillium Therapeutics for about $2.22 billion to bolster its blood cancer arsenal.

Arena is developing a number of gastrointestinal, dermatological and cardiovascular treatments. Its main candidate, etrasimod, is being tested in a late-stage study of ulcerative colitis, as well as a mid-to-late study in Crohn’s disease, both types of inflammatory bowel disease that cause ulcerative colitis. Digest.

Pfizer is also developing a treatment for ulcerative colitis, a chronic and inflammatory bowel disease that affects 3 million people in the United States. Applicants are currently in mid-stage research, which is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

“The proposed Arena acquisition complements our capabilities and expertise in the areas of inflammation and immunology,” said Pfizer chief executive Mike Gladstone, adding that the company plans to push accelerate the clinical development of etrasimod.

Wells Fargo analyst Derek Archila said: “(Arena) is our top pick for 2022, so Christmas comes a bit early… We wouldn’t expect another bidder to come in. this moment”.

Archila said he expected positive data from the late-stage trial based on etrasimod’s performance in an earlier study. He estimates peak sales at $2.5 billion, assuming the treatment is approved and found to be more effective than Bristol Myers Squibb’s currently approved Zeposia.

The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2022.


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