Pfizer to buy Anacor for around $5.2 billion

Pfizer entered a definitive merger agreement to acquire Anacor Pharmaceuticals for $99.25 per share in cash, or a total transaction value of approximately $5.2 billion, the companies announced Monday. The deal, which represents a premium of about 55 percent to Anacor’s closing share price on May 13 and has been approved by the board of directors of both drugmakers, gives Pfizer rights to the non-steroidal topical PDE4 inhibitor crisaborole.

Albert Bourla, group president of Pfizer’s Global Innovative Pharma and Global Vaccines, Oncology and Consumer Healthcare businesses, said “crisaborole is a differentiated asset with compelling clinical data that, if approved, has the potential to be an important first-line treatment option.” A marketing application for crisaborole is currently under review by the FDA for the treatment of mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis, with a target review date of January 7, 2017. In study data unveiled last year, crisaborole was shown to provide significantly greater skin clearance than placebo.

“Anacor will be a strong fit with Pfizer’s innovative business, further supporting our strategic focus on inflammation and immunology,” Bourla remarked, adding “we believe we are well positioned to maximize crisaborole’s commercial potential through our strong relationships with paediatricians and primary care physicians.” Pfizer suggested that if approved, crisaborole could generate peak annual sales of at least $2 billion (for related analysis, see KOL Views: Atopic dermatitis and psoriasis in the spotlight as clinical data and new launches impress).

Commenting on crisaborole, Morningstar analyst Damien Conover said “it is a strategically well-positioned drug in atopic dermatitis, which is an increasingly competitive market.” Conover added “this is going to be used in mild-to-moderate patients, so that could give them a niche of the segment of atopic dermatitis where there might be less competition.” For further analysis, see The First Take podcast: Will US payers dictate the success of Pfizer’s $5.2 billion Anacor deal?

According to Pfizer, it estimates that the transaction will be slightly dilutive to earnings per share in 2017, with accretion to earnings beginning in 2018 and increasing thereafter. Pfizer added that it expects to complete the acquisition in the third quarter.

The deal represents Pfizer’s first acquisition since terminating its $160-billion deal to acquire Allergan last month. Pfizer CEO Ian Read recently said that Pfizer was looking to acquire products that are near to reaching the market, with sources suggesting that the company has approached Medivation regarding a possible takeover. For related analysis, see ViewPoints: Pfizer not reliant on deals, says CEO Read, but has it approached Medivation?

17 – May – 2016