2022-08-09| M&A

Pfizer Acquires Global Blood Therapeutics and its sickle cell disease expertise for $5.4 billion

by Max Heirich
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On August 8, Pfizer announced their acquisition of Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT). GBT brings years of experience in discovering, developing, and administering therapies for sickle cell disease (SCD) patients. The transaction values each share of GBT at $68.50 per share, amounting to a total of $5.4 billion.

The Value of GBT’s Sickle Cell Disease Expertise

SCD is a lifelong, devastating blood disorder. This inherited disease misshapes a patient’s blood cells to a sickle shape, causing them to carry oxygen and die prematurely. Those affected by this disease experience chronic joint pain and low oxygen levels throughout the body.

GBT develops therapies to combat SCD, such as Oxbryta. Oxbryta is a medicine treating the root cause of SCD by increasing a patient’s red blood cell’s affinity for oxygen. In addition, the treatment inhibits the polymerization and eventual destruction of sickle-shaped cells.

In addition to Oxbryta, GBT is currently developing other treatments for SCD. GBT021601 (GBT601) is a therapy designed as a next-generation sickle hemoglobin polymerization inhibitor. It is currently in Phase 2 of a Phase ⅔ clinical trial. Inclacumab is also under development by GBT. Inclacumab is an antibody targeting a protein whose inhibition helps treat SCD. Currently, it is under evaluation in two separate Phase 3 Trials.

Related article: Pfizer Reportedly in Talks of $5 Billion Global Blood Therapeutics Purchase

The Particulars of Pfizer’s Acquisition

Due to GBT’s sickle cell disease expertise, Pfizer sought to acquire the company. The agreement proposes that Pfizer buys each outstanding share of GBT for $68.50. This amounts to $5.4 billion, which Pfizer aims to purchase with existing cash. Both boards of directors of each company unanimously approved the transaction.

On the acquisition, Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pfizer, said, “We are excited to welcome GBT colleagues into Pfizer and to work together to transform the lives of patients, as we have long sought to address the needs of this underserved community.”

However, the deal is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and approval of GBT shareholders.

Currently, it is unknown when the acquisition of GBT by Pfizer will close officially. However, the agreement announced is a definitive deal.

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