Commercial Biopharma company GBT acquired by Pfizer in a $5.4B...

Biopharma company GBT acquired by Pfizer in a $5.4B agreement


A conclusive agreement has been signed by Pfizer which entitles the company to all of Global Blood Therapeutics’ (GBT) outstanding shares. The total value of the said shares equals around $5.4B, each share being $68.50. 

Pfizer is an American multinational biotech company operating out of Manhattan, New York. It was founded 173 years ago in 1849 and has since been developing and producing vaccines and medicines for endocrinology, neurology, oncology, cardiology, and immunology to become the premier biopharma company it is now.

Global Blood Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Southern San Francisco, California. It was founded in 2011 and has since been involved in discovering and developing life-altering treatments for sickle-cell disease (SCD). The company’s priority is to serve the underserved. One of the most notable treatments by the company is Oxbryta (Voxelotor), which directly obstructs HbS (sickle hemoglobin) polymerization. It is the first FDA-approved medicine that could be used against red blood cell sickling in sickle-cell disease. GBT is expanding its pipeline with a P-selectin inhibitor, GBT021601, and inclacumab, which will cater to the pain crises related to the disease.

SCD is a blood disorder that is genetically derived and is lifelong. It causes acute pain crises, hemolytic anemia, and end organ damage. SCD starts causing difficulties for the patient at an early age and lowers life expectancy. SCD treatment has been a somewhat unmet need with the best chance of reducing symptoms and preventing long-term damage being early intervention. There are 4.5M people with SCD in the world and ten times as many people with the sickle cell trait.

Pfizer’s skill and prowess in rare hematology will be enhanced by the takeover as GBT’s strength will be a welcome addition. GBT will bring in its pipeline and SCD knowledge and capabilities that will be beneficial for Pfizer’s purpose and commitment to SCD.

Currently, GBT’s range includes Oxbytra tablets and a therapy that works on the main cause of SCD. The approvals for the therapy have been received in the UAE, Oman, Great Britain, the European Union and the United States. Using its global reach and platform, Pfizer aims to accelerate the supply of the treatment on a global scale.

GBT has also developed an inhibitor, GBT021601, which is for HbS (sickle hemoglobin) polymerization. As of now, the inhibitor is in Phase II clinical trial. The inhibitor has the potential to become the top agent offering enhancement in hemolysis and acute pain crises, otherwise known as vaso-occlusive (VOC) frequency. Additionally, the pipeline includes inclacumab, a monoclonal antibody that works on P-selectin protein.

Unanimous approval for the agreement has been granted by both the companies’ board of directors and Pfizer is planning to fund the deal using its cash on hand.

Albert Bourla, Pfizer CEO and chairman, said, “Sickle cell disease is the most common inherited blood disorder, and it disproportionately affects people of African descent. The deep market knowledge and scientific and clinical capabilities we have built over three decades in rare hematology will enable us to accelerate innovation for the sickle cell disease community and bring these treatments to patients as quickly as possible.”

Earlier this year in June, Pfizer completed a $525M acquisition of ReViral, a clinical-stage biopharma organization.

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