USA — Pfizer has successfully navigated regulatory concerns from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding its substantial US$43 billion acquisition of Seagen.

The company anticipates closing the deal for the antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) developer on December 14 after securing clearance from the European Commission in October.

The deal, initially met with scrutiny, led to Pfizer’s commitment to donate rights to royalties from Bavencio (avelumab) sales in the US to the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) to address antitrust issues raised by the FTC.

Simultaneously, Pfizer announced a reshaping of its commercial organization, marking the creation of a comprehensive oncology division that integrates certain commercial and R&D operations from both companies.

The new Pfizer Oncology Division, led by Chris Boshoff will combine oncology commercial and R&D operations, fostering a more integrated approach to cancer-focused endeavors.

The organizational restructuring is part of Pfizer’s broader strategy to maximize the impact of the Seagen acquisition and enhance commercial execution across all therapeutic areas.

The company also parted ways with Merck KGaA on Bavencio, a move likely aimed at addressing antitrust concerns surrounding the Seagen acquisition.

Simultaneously, Pfizer will divide its non-oncology commercial organization into two entities: the US Commercial Division, led by Chief US Commercial Officer Aamir Malik, and the International Commercial Division, headed by Alexandre de Germay as Chief International Commercial Officer.

De Germay, a Pfizer veteran with over 20 years of experience, has returned to the company after serving as CEO of Laboratoires Majorelle.

Pfizer’s CEO, Albert Bourla, expressed that these structural changes aim to “maximize the impact of this transaction and enhance our commercial execution across all the company’s therapeutic areas.” The reorganization is expected to take effect on January 1, 2024.

Angela Hwang, Pfizer’s Chief Commercial Officer and President of Global Biopharmaceuticals, will depart from the company after over 25 years.

Recognized as one of 2022’s Fiercest Women in Life Sciences, Hwang has played a pivotal role in Pfizer’s commercial success, achieving the milestone of surpassing US$100 billion in annual sales.

The Pfizer-Seagen merger represents the most substantial M&A deal in biopharma since AbbVie’s acquisition of Allergan in June 2019.

With four approved products and a robust pipeline of antibody-drug conjugate candidates, Pfizer expects the products from Seagen to contribute an additional US$10 billion in annual revenues by 2030.

Despite the impending merger, Pfizer has been undertaking a US$3.5 billion cost-cutting campaign, resulting in layoffs across multiple locations, including the US, Ireland, and the UK.

The company will conduct a conference call on Wednesday, December 13, 2023, to discuss the impending merger and provide full-year financial guidance for 2024.

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