2023-03-14| M&A

Pfizer Acquires Seagen for $43 Billion to Capture Leading Position in Oncology

by Richard Chau
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Pfizer Inc. and Seagen Inc. recently announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Pfizer will acquire Seagen for $229 in cash per share for a total enterprise value of $43 billion. This transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of both companies, is expected to complete in late 2023 or early 2024. 

Related article: Pfizer Buys Biohaven For $11.6 Billion, Bags Migraine Asset 

Seagen Excels as a Pioneer of ADC Technology

As a global biotechnology company dedicated to revolutionizing cancer care, Seagen expects a projected revenue of approximately $2.2 billion in 2023, with a 12% year-over-year growth. 

Founded in 1997, Seagen has emerged as one of the top players in the field of antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology, which aims to selectively deliver cytotoxic drugs preferentially to antigen-expressing tumor cells utilizing the specificity of monoclonal antibodies. Among all 12 FDA-approved and marketed ADCs, four of them apply Seagen’s proprietary technology. 

Seagen’s portfolio includes four approved drugs for hematologic malignancies and solid tumors which are considered first- or best-in-class in their respective indications, including three ADCs: ADCETRIS (brentuximab vedotin) for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, PADCEV (enfortumab vedotin) for locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer, and TIVDAK (tisotumab vedotin) for recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer. The company also commercializes TUKYSA (tucatinib), a kinase inhibitor for treating HER2-positive metastatic breast and colorectal cancer. Currently, each of these drugs is undergoing clinical development for potential new tumor types or expanded indications. 

Moreover, the company is also developing innovative technologies with the potential to generate several Investigational New Drug Applications (INDs), including next-generation linker/payload technologies for ADCs, as well as innovative antibody platforms that are capable of directly destroying tumors via the immune system, such as bi-specific antibodies.

Pfizer Has Great Ambition to Battle Cancer

Pfizer has gained prominence with its COVID-19 vaccines and oral medications, and acquired Biohaven Pharmaceuticals, the maker of innovative migraine drugs, for a staggering $11.6 billion last year. In 2023, the pharmaceutical giant is eager to make its mark in the oncology field, and this acquisition of Seagen is the largest of its kind in the biomedical industry to date this year. 

In 2022, Pfizer Oncology will generate revenues of $12.1 billion from 24 approved innovative cancer medicines, including market-leading therapies for metastatic breast cancer and prostate cancer. The company’s portfolio is focused on four major areas: breast cancer, genitourinary cancer, hematology and precision medicine, together with an extensive pipeline of 33 programs in clinical development. The proposed combination with Seagen would double Pfizer’s early-stage oncology clinical pipeline.

According to Chris Boshoff, Chief Development Officer of Oncology and Rare Disease of Pfizer, the addition of Seagen’s top-notch ADC technology will position the company at the forefront of innovative cancer care, and constitute strong support for the existing portfolio across both solid tumors and hematologic malignancies.

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