NEW YORK — In an attempt to bolster the depth of it’s drug roster, Pfizer Inc has agreed to purchase cancer drug company Medivation Inc for a reported bid of $14 billion, as reported by Reuters.
The purchase, which was first pursued by Sanofi SA will bring Xtandi under Pfizer control. Xtandi is a highly effective cancer drug with reported annual sales of $2.2 billion.
In completing the purchase, Pfizer will join AbbVie and Johnson & Johnson in showing a willingness to pay a premium to acquire newly developed, highly effective cancer drugs.
This purchase will signal a major shift in Pfizer strategy, shifting it’s focus from minimizing taxes to expanding it’s drug lineup – especially cancer drugs. The strategy shift was pursued after a merger with Allergan Plc broke down in early 2016.
Originally reported as a $160 billion merger intended to reduce annual-Pfizer taxes by over $1 billion, the U.S. Treasury department unveiled rules in early 2016 to reduce the incentive of pursuing mergers between pharmaceutical companies attempting to reduce their taxes – called inversions.
With it’s purchase of Medivation Inc, Pfizer will look to catch up to Merck & Co in addition to Bristol-Myers Squibb Co who have recently made major developments in the pursuit of immuno-oncology drugs.
While Xtandi is widely regarded as the drug Pfizer primarily sought after, Pfizer Chief Executive Ian Read also expressed interest in other Medivation experimental cancer drugs, including talazoparib and pidilizumab.
Additionally, Read predicated that Xtandi could continue to see growth in sales if Pfizer is successful in acquiring approval for earlier use and transitioning Xtandi into a drug primarily prescribed by urologists.
Although some analysts claim that Pfizer overpaid for Medivation, others including Piper Jaffray analyst Richard Purkiss say that the price is appropriate given Xtandi’s sales-growth potential.
The merger was approved by the board of Pfizer Inc and Medivatio Inc with completion scheduled for the third or fourth quarter.
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