2022-08-16| M&A

GSK’s Second Billion Dollar Acquisition Outprices their First of 2022

by Max Heirich
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On August 16, GSK announced the completion of its billion dollar acquisition of Affinivax. Announced in May of this year, GSK paid $2.1 billion upfront to gain access to Affinivax’s next-generation vaccine candidate. This marks the largest acquisition of GSK in 2022, followed closely by their $1.9 billion purchase of Sierra Oncology. 

Related Article: Potential $1 billion Acquisition of TeneoTwo by AstraZeneca comes to Fruition

The $2.1 Billion Acquisition of a Phase II Vaccine

Affinivax is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing vaccines through their Multiple Antigen Presenting System (MAPS). MAPS supports vaccine creation by simplifying design while simultaneously enhancing the efficacy and breadth of protection. 

The flagship vaccine designed with MAPS is AFX3772, a vaccine in Phase II development that protects against 24 diseases caused by pneumococcal bacteria.

Because of this technology and this vaccine candidate, GSK entered into negotiations for the acquisition of Affinivax; together, they announced a definitive agreement on May 31. In exchange for access to their MAPS technology and the AFX3772 vaccine, GSK offered to pay $0.2 billion over their other completed acquisition of 2022.

GSK’s Second and Largest Acquisition in 2022

On July 1, only a day after the announcement of the acquisition of Affinivax, GSK announced the completion of their acquisition of Sierra Oncology. GSK paid an upfront cost of $1.9 billion, priced at $55 per outstanding share of the company. However, no potential development milestones were agreed upon for products in development, unlike the deal with Affinivax.

The upfront payment for Affinivax beat the price paid for Sierra Oncology, totaling $2.1 billion for 100% of outstanding shares. An additional $1.2 billion is on the line related to milestones associated with certain pediatric clinical development milestones.

On the acquisition, Steven Brugger, CEO of Affinivax, said, “We are proud that GSK has recognized our team’s accomplishments and are confident that GSK is an ideal new home for our MAPS platform and the team behind its success.”

GSK’s billion dollar acquisition follow other significant moves made in the industry this year. Companies like Pfizer and Bristol Myers Squibb made similarly priced acquisitions earlier this year for Biohaven Pharmaceuticals and Turning Point Therapeutics, respectively. With many other acquisitions already underway or completed this year, only time will tell if these acquisitions will remain amongst the most expensive for 2022.


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