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May 16, 2016

Pfizer to Acquire Anacor Pharmaceuticals for $5.2B

  • Pfizer has agreed to acquire Anacor Pharmaceuticals for approximately $5.2 billion, the companies said today, in a deal that would expand the buyer’s portfolio of inflammation and immunology drugs.

    Pfizer’s acquisition of Anacor would include its flagship asset crisaborole, a differentiated nonsteroidal topical PDE4 inhibitor whose NDA is under review by the FDA. Crisaborole is indicated for mild-to-moderate exczema.

    “We believe the acquisition of Anacor represents an attractive opportunity to address a significant unmet medical need for a large patient population with mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis, which currently has few safe topical treatments available,” Albert Bourla, group president of Pfizer’s Global Innovative Pharma and Global Vaccines, Oncology and Consumer Healthcare businesses, said in a statement.

    Bourla added that Pfizer envisioned crisaborole joining its inflammation and immunology portfolio that includes two marketed drugs.

    One is Xeljanz® (tofacitinib), indicated for adults with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis  who had an inadequate response to methotrexate. Outside the U.S. and Canada, Pfizer markets Enbrel® (etanercept), approved for several arthritis indications; the drug is marketed by Amgen in North America.

    Last year, Pfizer generated $3.333 billion in ex-North America revenues from Enbrel, down 13% from the previous year, and $523 million in worldwide revenues last year from Xeljanz, up 70% from 2014.

    Pfizer said today it believes Anacor’s crisaborole could rack up peak-year sales of $2 billion or more. The pharma giant cited positive results from two Phase III studies showing crisaborole achieving statistically significant results on all primary and secondary endpoints.

    The FDA has set a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) goal date for completing its review of the crisaborole NDA of January 7, 2017.

    Anacor also holds rights to Kerydin® (tavaborole), a topical treatment for onychomycosis (toenail fungus) that in the U.S. is distributed and commercialized by Novartis’ Sandoz unit.

    Through a subsidiary, Pfizer plans to launch a cash tender offer for all outstanding shares of Anacor common stock for $99.25 per share in cash—55% above Anacor’s closing stock price of $64.03 on Friday.

    The closing of the tender offer is subject to customary closing conditions, including U.S. antitrust clearance and the tender of a majority of outstanding Anacor shares. Under the merger agreement, Pfizer will acquire any shares of Anacor that are not tendered into the offer through a second-step merger to be completed promptly after the close of the tender offer.

    Pfizer expects to complete the deal in the third quarter, funding the acquisition through existing cash. The buyer said it did not expect the transaction to affect its current 2016 financial guidance—but does expect the deal will slightly lower its adjusted diluted earnings per share next year, and begin increasing it in 2018 and after.

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