Pfizer Bolsters Cancer Therapy Biologics Pursuit With Trillium Acquisition

Pfizer Inc., a mainstay of current news cycles due to its FDA-approved mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, is upping its cancer treatment and therapy presence with a strategic acquisition. The pharmaceutical and biotechnology company is doubling down on its previous commitment of support to a major presence in this sector.

Immuno-oncology company Trillium Therapeutics is set to be folded into Pfizer, in a definitive agreement that also soaks up all of Trillium’s outstanding shares. Pfizer had already contributed $25 million to Trillium through the Pfizer Breakthrough Growth Initiative last year; its pledge through the PBGI will amount to a total $500 million in investments. Those shares not heretofore belonging to Pfizer will now be absorbed by the company at an implied equity value of $2.26 billion—$18.50 a share—in cash. This constitutes a promising 118% premium to Trillium’s 60-day weighted average price.

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Trillium’s biologics arsenal is meant to strengthen a patient’s immune system to the point of fighting cancer on its own terms. Two of its novel fusion protein molecules employed in this treatment, TTI-621 and TTI-622, are designed to block the signal-regulatory protein α (SIRPα)–CD47 axis. They are, at present, in Phase 1b/2 development for various indications, with a targeted designation for treating hematological malignancies.