Pfizer Enters Migraine Market With Biohaven Acquisition

Pfizer is forking over $11.6 billion to purchase migraine treatment maker Biohaven. It’s a bid by Pfizer to leverage its sales power to reap the benefits of what has become the hot-ticket pill in a new breed of drugs for migraines. The banner item gained through the deal is Biohaven’s Nurtec® ODT, an FDA-approved drug that is part of the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) inhibitor class of migraine treatments.

Biohaven’s other six in-development drugs will fill out an already-stellar portfolio that Pfizer is set to take full advantage of; firstly, Pfizer intends to double Nurtec®’s sales efforts by connecting with 70,000 additional U.S. doctors. Pfizer believes CGRP inhibitor pills are on track to account for approximately 40% of migraine drug prescriptions; at present they account for just 5%. Pfizer also projects peak sales could reach $6 billion annually.

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Both companies’ boards were eager to approve the transaction, and Biohaven’s share price surged 70% after the deal. The terms will see Pfizer taking ownership of all Biohaven shares it does not already own for $148.50 per share in cash. Biohaven’s other, non-migraine drugs will be spun off into a new publicly traded company, with its shareholders receiving 0.5 shares in the new entity for each share of company stock they already own.