The pharmaceutical giant says it will pay $229 in cash for each share of Seagen.
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has signed a $43 billion deal with biotech company Seagen to add innovative targeted therapies to its portfolio of cancer treatments.
Monday’s deal is Pfizer’s largest in a string of acquisitions following a cash windfall from its COVID-19 vaccine and pill. The acquisition adds four approved cancer therapies with combined sales of nearly $2 billion by 2022.
Pfizer said Monday it will pay $229 in cash for each share of Seagen. It then plans to let the biotech drug developer “continue to innovate,” except with more resources than it would have on its own, Pfizer chairman and CEO Albert Bourla told analysts.
“We don’t buy golden eggs,” he said. “We bring in the goose that lays the golden eggs.”
Based in Bothell, Washington, Seagen specializes in working with antibody-drug conjugate, or ADC, technology. The lead products use lab-made proteins called monoclonal antibodies that target cancer cells to release a cancer-killing drug and spare surrounding tissue.
Cancer treatments are a priority for Pfizer. They brought in $12 billion in revenue for the drugmaker last year. But Pfizer has only released a few first-generation ADC treatments, a spokeswoman said.
Seagen has four treatments on the market. It also has a pipeline of drugs in development, including potential treatments for a form of lung cancer and advanced breast cancer.
“We think this really changes Pfizer’s oncology presence dramatically, making it unique,” said Bourla.
Seagen’s bestseller, Adcetris, treats lymphatic system cancer. It had revenues of $839 million last year, an increase of 19 percent over the previous year.
Seagen also has a deal with Pfizer’s Array BioPharma to develop, manufacture and market the breast and colon cancer treatment Tukysa. It brought in $353 million in sales for Seagen last year.
The company, which changed its name from Seattle Genetics in 2020, saw total sales grow about 25 percent to nearly $2 billion last year. Seagen also shaved its $674 million loss in 2021 to $610 million.
The drug developer forecasts sales of about $2.2 billion for this year.
Pfizer posted about $100 billion in total revenue last year and has plenty of cash from sales of its COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty and Paxlovid treatment.
Bourla said this year that the company planned to use its “extraordinary firepower” to buy products that will generate $25 billion in additional revenue by 2030.
The deal announced Monday and some previous acquisitions will help Pfizer for most of that. But Bourla stressed on Monday that the company expects Seagen’s contributions to continue beyond the end of the decade.
New York-based Pfizer has already spent $11.6 billion on migraine treatment developer Biohaven Pharmaceutical. It also spent $5.4 billion on Global Blood Therapeutics, the maker of sickle cell disease treatment, and bought Arena Pharmaceuticals for another $6.7 billion.
The drugmaker needs more sources of revenue, in part because it faces expiration of patents protecting drugs like its breast cancer treatment Ibrance from cheaper competition in years to come.
Pfizer said Monday it will pay Seagen largely through $31 billion in new, long-term debt.
The boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved the deal. But regulators have yet to look into it, and Seagen shareholders will have to approve it.
The companies expect to close the transaction in late 2023 or early 2024.
Shares of Pfizer rose 2 percent to $40.26 after markets opened Monday, while shares of Seagen rose more than 15 percent to nearly $200. Broader indices rose slightly.