Premier biopharma company Pfizer has locked down a deal to acquire Arena Pharmaceuticals for $6.7 billion, an all-cash transaction that will broaden its capabilities to produce therapies for treatment of immuno-inflammation conditions such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.
The buyout will entail Pfizer shelling out $100 per share for Arena. Pfizer undoubtedly has some capital to experiment with, as vaccine sales have filled its coffers with roughly $28 billion in cash. Its shares trended up by nearly 5% when news of the deal broke, and the headlines also provided an uplift for Arena's share price: in the weekend following the publicity, shares surged 80% from $49.94 on Friday to $90.08 on Monday. While the boards of both companies have greenlit the transaction, clearance from regulators and Arena stockholders is still pending.
Purchasing Arena means gaining access to its diverse portfolio of development-stage drug candidates in cardiology, dermatology, and gastroenterology. Oral therapy etrasimod is Arena's top candidate as of now, and the drug is in Phase 3 studies for UC and a Phase 2/3 program for Crohn's. Additionally, a Phase 3 program in atopic dermatitis is in the cards for the near future. Pfizer's research and global development power will be harnessed to accelerate clinical development of etrasimod.