USA – Pfizer, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, has announced that it had reached an agreement to buy drug developer Arena Pharmaceuticals for US$6.7 billion in cash.
Pfizer will be able to develop promising treatments for diseases affecting the stomach and intestine as a result of this latest development.
Pfizer intends to buy Arena for US$100 per share, which is twice the company’s closing stock price on Friday.
Arena’s value has increased by more than 80% since the announcement of the deal, and it is now trading at US$90.09 per share, as reported by sports.yahoo.com.
In order to expand its treatment pipeline, Pfizer has been acquiring companies. In a US$2.22 billion deal last month, the company acquired immuno-oncology company Trillium Therapeutics in order to strengthen its arsenal of blood cancer therapies.
According to Pfizer, Arena will strengthen its expertise in inflammation and immunology. It intends to fund the acquisition with cash on hand.
Arena is currently working on a variety of treatments for gastroenterology, dermatology, and cardiology. Etrasimod, the company’s lead drug, is currently being tested in a late-stage study for ulcerative colitis as well as a mid-to-late stage study for Crohn’s disease.
Both are inflammatory bowel diseases that result in ulcers in the digestive tract. A pill-based treatment for the virus could be approved soon.
Pfizer is particularly interested in Arena Pharmaceuticals’ experimental Crohn’s treatment Etrasimod, a highly selective, once-daily oral sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor modulator.
Because of its ability to provide systemic and local effects on specific immune cell types, Etrasimod has the potential to treat a variety of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, including ulcerative colitis, eosinophilic esophagitis, atopic dermatitis, and alopecia areata.
Currently, etrasimod is in two Phase III studies for ulcerative colitis, one for Crohn’s disease, and one for atopic dermatitis.
Pfizer executive Mike Gladstone said, “The proposed acquisition of Arena complements our capabilities and expertise in inflammation and immunology.” He added that the company intends to accelerate the clinical development of etrasimod.
Pfizer has also stated that it expects Comirnaty, its vaccine, to generate approximately US$36 billion in sales this year.
The pharmaceutical company has also developed a potential pill treatment for the virus, which could be approved soon.
Liked this article? Sign up to receive our regular email newsletters, focused on Africa and World’s healthcare industry, directly into your inbox. SUBSCRIBE HERE