Flush With Cash, Pfizer Buys Global Blood Therapeutics in $5.4 Billion Deal

Flush With Cash, Pfizer Buys Global Blood Therapeutics in $5.4 Billion Deal
Pfizer logo and stock graph are seen in this illustration taken on May 1, 2022. (Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters)

Pfizer Inc. is boosting its pipeline with a $5.4 billion deal for blood disorder drugmaker Global Blood Therapeutics, the latest in a series of acquisitions to combat a potential slowdown in COVID-19 products demand as cases fall.

Pfizer said on Monday it will pay $68.50 per share, representing a premium of 7.3 percent to Global Blood stock's Friday closing and a 42.7 percent premium to Thursday's closing.

Pfizer has enjoyed an unprecedented rise in sales since the global rollout of its COVID-19 vaccine, developed with BioNTech. Sales have, however, started to slow since last year.

But flush with cash from sales of its COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer has been on the lookout for acquisitions that could bring in billions in annual sales by the end of the decade.

In May, Pfizer shelled out $11.6 billion for migraine drug maker Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding and recently also completed a $6.7 billion deal to buy Arena Pharmaceuticals.

With the acquisition of Global Blood Therapeutics, Pfizer will boost its rare disease treatment business with Oxbryta.

Oxbryta was first approved in 2019 to treat sickle cell disease among patients aged 12 years or older, and last year December, for younger patients.

Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited blood disorder that affects an estimated 70,000 to 100,000 people in the United States. The oral drug brought $55.2 million in sales for the company in the first quarter of 2022.

"The Street has wanted PFE to continue to bring in new assets to improve earnings visibility beyond the end of the decade when key assets start to lose their patent protection, and for the company to diversify its sales concentration in COVID drugs," Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Louise Chen said.

Shares of Global Blood rose 4.5 percent following the deal announcement.