Pfizer expects to complete purchase of Seagen on Thursday

Pfizer expects to complete purchase of Seagen on Thursday

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said the purchase of Seagen would help the battle against cancer
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said the purchase of Seagen would help the battle against cancer. Photo: JUSTIN SULLIVAN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images via AFP/File
Source: AFP

Pfizer announced Tuesday that it expects to complete this week its $43 billion acquisition of cancer-focused biotech company Seagen after clearing key regulatory hurdles.

"Pfizer and Seagen have now received all required regulatory approvals," Pfizer said in a news release that reported a key US antitrust waiting period had expired. "Pfizer expects to close the acquisition of Seagen on December 14."

The big US drugmaker announced the transaction on March 13, pointing to Seagen's prominence in innovative cancer treatment.

The purchase of Seagen "is good for patients in the battle against cancer," said Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla.

After a surge in revenues due to its Covid-19 therapeutic Paxlovid and vaccine Comirnaty, Pfizer encountered a much more challenging financial environment in 2023 with the ebbing of the pandemic.

In October, the company reported a quarterly loss due to a $5.6 billion inventory write-down in Paxlovid and Comirnaty.

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Seagen, headquartered in Washington state, came to major drugmakers' attention with its work on antibody-drug conjugates that are "designed to preferentially kill cancer cells."

The European Union cleared the transaction in October, saying the takeover did not raise competition concerns and would not negatively impact prices of treatments.

But in order to win approval from US regulators with the Federal Trade Commission, Pfizer said it would donate the royalties from sales of Bavencio in the United States to the American Association for Cancer Research.

Bavencio, which is also sold as Avelumab, is a prescription medicine used to treat different forms of cancer, including a skin cancer known as Merkel cell carcinoma.

Source: AFP

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