3D Rendering of Antibody Drug Conjugate Molecules
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Pfizer is beefing up its oncology portfolio by acquiring Seagen for $229 per share, for a total deal value of $43 billion. Pfizer’s move came after Merck’s failed attempt to acquire the biotech. That deal is believed to have fallen flat after a price could not be negotiated, GEN recently reported.

The acquisition of Seagen would double Pfizer’s early-stage oncology clinical pipeline.

Seagen, formerly Seattle Genetics, is a pioneer in antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology, with four of the twelve total FDA-approved and marketed ADCs using its technology industry-wide. ADCs are designed to destroy cancer cells while limiting off-target toxicities.

“Together, Pfizer and Seagen seek to accelerate the next generation of cancer breakthroughs and bring new solutions to patients by combining the power of Seagen’s antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology with the scale and strength of Pfizer’s capabilities and expertise,” said Albert Bourla, Pfizer chairman and CEO.

He added that, “Oncology continues to be the largest growth driver in global medicine, and this acquisition will enhance Pfizer’s position in this important space and contribute meaningfully to the achievement of Pfizer’s near- and long-term financial goals.”

Seagen reportedly expects to generate approximately $2.2 billion of revenue in 2023 from its four approved medicines, royalties and collaboration, and license agreements. Based its estimates, Pfizer says it believes Seagen could contribute more than $10 billion in risk-adjusted revenues in 2030, with potential significant growth beyond 2030.

Since its founding 25 years ago, Seagen has established itself as a leader in ADC development, although this did not come without bumps in the road. During 2016, while it was still Seattle Genetics, the company had three drug trials put on hold due to patient deaths.

Seagen now has four approved medicines, including three ADCs: ADCETRIS (brentuximab vedotin), PADCEV (enfortumab vedotin), and TIVDAK (tisotumab vedotin). The company also commercializes TUKYSA (tucatinib). There are clinical development programs ongoing for potential new or expanded indications in earlier lines of therapy for each of these drugs.

Seagen also has a pipeline that includes eleven new molecular entities. The proposed acquisition is expected to enable for combination potential across the Seagen and Pfizer pipelines and will, according to a press release, “… leverage Pfizer’s protein engineering and medicinal chemistry capabilities to advance Seagen’s ADC technology to unlock potential novel target combinations and next-generation biologics.”

In addition, Seagen is working on next-generation linker/payload technologies for ADCs and other innovative antibody platforms, such as bi-specific antibodies.

David Epstein, Seagen Chief Executive Officer, said, “The proposed combination with Pfizer is the right next step for Seagen to further its strategy, and this compelling transaction will deliver significant and immediate value to our stockholders and provide new opportunities for our colleagues as part of a larger science-driven, patient-centric, global company.”

Pfizer Oncology’s portfolio includes 24 approved innovative cancer medicines that generated $12.1 billion in 2022 revenues, including the best-selling therapies for metastatic breast cancer and prostate cancer. Pfizer’s pipeline in this area is focused on four broad, key areas: breast cancer, genitourinary cancer, hematology and precision medicine, and features 33 programs in clinical development.

Said Chris Boshoff, Chief Development Officer Oncology and Rare Disease, Pfizer, “The addition of Seagen’s world-leading ADC technology will position us at the forefront of innovative cancer care, and strongly complements our existing portfolio across both solid tumors and hematologic malignancies.”

The companies expect to complete the transaction in late 2023 or early 2024, subject to fulfillment of customary closing conditions.

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