After a banner year in 2021, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) is on a spending spree. The company plans to acquire Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT) (Nasdaq:GBT) for $68.50 per share. The total sale price of acquisition, if it moves forward, would be roughly $5.4 billion.
Global Blood Therapeutics’s therapeutic focus is primarily on sickle cell disease.
In March, Pfizer finalized the $6.7 billion acquisition of Arena Pharmaceuticals. The company announced in May that it planned to acquire migraine drugmaker Biohaven Pharmaceuticals for $11.6 billion.
Pfizer completed the acquisition of privately-held ReViral in June.
The centerpiece of the acquisition
GBT has developed Oxbryta (voxelotor), a novel sickle hemoglobin inhibitor that won FDA approval in November 2019. In addition, the drug has scored approval in the European Union, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Great Britain.
Voxelotor binds to hemoglobin and stabilizes red-blood cells in an oxygenated state.
In December 2021, FDA approved the supplemental new drug application of sickle cell disease to allow the use of Oxbryta in children down to 4 years old.
The drug generated approximately $195 million in revenue in 2021.
Global Blood Therapeutics also has a sickle hemoglobin (HbS) polymerization inhibitor in the Phase 2 portion of a Phase 2/3 clinical trial.
In addition, the company is developing inclacumab, a fully human monoclonal antibody targeting P-selectin, in two Phase 3 clinical studies. The drug candidate could potentially reduce the frequency of vaso-occlusive crises and reduce hospital re-admissions following such events.
Global Blood Therapeutics also has a number of potential treatments in the preclinical phase, including HbF inducers, anti-sickling agents and molecules to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
GBT shares were up 4.35% to $66.61 in afternoon trading.
Pfizer’s shares were steady, dipping 0.28% to $49.14.
Pfizer generated $81.3 billion in revenue in 2021, which represents a record for the company. Its COVID-19 vaccine, which it jointly developed with BioNTech, added $36.8 billion to its bottom line.
The company has projected that its 2022 revenues could surpass $100 billion.
While its R&D spending of $13.8 billion was a relatively small 17% of its overall revenue, the sum was higher than that of any other drug company.