Deal: Pfizer Buys Cancer Drugmaker Trillium For $2.3B

Pfizer, the pharmaceuticals giant best known at this time for its Covid vaccine, is continuing to make moves in other…

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Pfizer, the pharmaceuticals giant best known at this time for its Covid vaccine, is continuing to make moves in other segments apart from the coronavirus. It’s freshly acquiring a company that’s working on drugs targeting certain forms of cancer.

  • Pfizer has agreed to acquire Trillium Therapeutics, a Nasdaq-listed clinical-stage biotech company. Based in Canada, Trillium is working to make drugs to treat cancers, with two drug candidates in its pipeline but none yet past the trial stage.
  • Pfizer will pay $18.50 per share to acquire Trillium, a 118% premium to the company’s average closing price over the past 60 days. The acquisition values Trillium at $2.3bn, excluding a small stake that Pfizer already owns in the company.
  • As it looks, Pfizer is betting on Trillium to up its game in the oncology (cancer-study) business. It’s a sector that brought in $11bn in sales for Pfizer in 2020, about a quarter of its sales for the year.
  • Pfizer is apparently betting that Trillium’s cancer drugs will make it from the current trial stage into approval and then production. Right now, Trillium has two drug candidates still in Phase 1 clinical trial stage.
  • Making big acquisitions of clinical-stage companies is nothing new, but in fact common in the biotech industry. Big companies like Pfizer routinely drop big bucks on biotech companies with promising drug candidates, taking risks that could pay off big time or otherwise lose substantially. 
  • For Pfizer, it’s buying Trillium at a time when the pharmaceutical giant’s status has been elevated thanks to its Covid vaccine that’s jointly produced with BioNTech, a German biotech company. It’s such that the company is anticipating a whopping $26bn in Covid vaccine sales this year, making it the best-selling drug globally at that range.
  • To make it better for Pfizer, the company has just gotten full approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its Covid vaccine after previously selling it under an emergency authorization. Now, the path has been fully cleared for Pfizer to forge ahead with vaccine sales and bring it suitable profits that’ll help fund R&D into other sectors, such as with its Trillium acquisition.
  • As it looks, this may be a good time to buy Pfizer stock (NYSE: PFE). The company closed trading on Monday up 2.5%.

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