Pfizer to Pay $5.4 Billion for Global Blood Therapeutics

09.08.2022 - Pfizer is paying $5.4 billion to acquire Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT), a drugmaker specialized in treating blood disorders. It is one of several deals the company has inked recently to offset dwindling sales from its vaccine and therapeutics for Covid-19.

The selling price breaks down to $68.50 per share, a premium of 7.3% over the stock’s closing price on Aug. 5 and a 42.7% premium over the Aug. 4 closing, just before the newspaper Wall Street Journal reported the advanced talks.

The New York drugmaker said it expects to finance the transaction with existing cash on hand. The deal is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals and approval by GBT’s stockholders. No completion date has been mentioned.

Pfizer added that the acquisition of the South San Francisco based-company complements and further enhances its more than 30-year heritage in rare hematology and reinforces its commitment to sickle cell disease (SCD) by adding expertise and a leading portfolio and pipeline with the potential to address the full spectrum of critical needs.

With GBT, Pfizer will gain Oxbryta, a drug first approved in 2019 to treat SCD among patients aged 12 years or older and later extended to younger patients.

The inherited blood disorder that affects an estimated 70,000 to 100,000 people in the US, mainly among people of African, Middle East and South Asian descent, racked up $55.2 million in sales in the first quarter of 2022.

In 2021, Pfizer doubled full-year sales revenue to $81.3 billion, thanks largely to intake from the Covid-19 vaccine. Adding the Paxlovid antiviral pill to this year’s tally, it expects to report sales of about $100 billion, though intake from Covid products is gradually tapering off, along with demand, in particular for the vaccine.

The company’s list of purchases since May 2022 incudes $11.6 billion for migraine drug manufacturer Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding and a $6.7 billion deal to buy Arena Pharmaceuticals.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist