Pfizer to Acquire Biotech Company Seagen in $43B Deal

Pfizer will further its work in the oncology sector by expanding its portfolio of cancer treatment medicines.
Written by Ashley Bowden
March 14, 2023Updated: March 14, 2023
 Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, poses for a photo
 Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer chairman and CEO. | Photo: Pfizer

While known internationally for its mass production of Covid vaccines, New York-based biopharmaceutical company Pfizer is hard at work developing treatments for more of the world’s most troublesome conditions — cancer. Remedying cancer is one such matter at the forefront of the company’s research and development efforts. Pfizer is bolstering its existing portfolio of oncology solutions with the acquisition of Seattle-area biotech company Seagen.

Seagen discovers, develops and commercializes cancer medicines and has made innovations using antibody-drug conjugate, or ADC, technology. ADCs are a modality that aims to preferentially kill cancer cells while limiting off-target toxicities, according to a company release. Of the 12 ADCs on the market today that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Seagen’s technology is used in four of them, the same release mentioned.

Pfizer will acquire Seagen in a transaction worth $43 billion.

Pfizer’s cancer treatment-focused organization Pfizer Oncology currently has a portfolio of 24 approved cancer medicines with 33 more programs in clinical development. By combining its resources with Seagen, Pfizer said it will double its early-stage oncology clinical pipeline.

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Seagen’s therapeutics pipeline includes 11 molecular entities that could potentially treat large patient populations with global commercial rights, according to the release. The company’s acquisition will put Pfizer’s protein engineering and medicinal chemistry capabilities toward advancing Seagen’s ADC solutions.

“Together, Pfizer and Seagen seek to accelerate the next generation of cancer breakthroughs and bring new solutions to patients by combining the power of Seagen’s antibody-drug conjugate technology with the scale and strength of Pfizer’s capabilities and expertise,” Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s CEO and chairman, said in a statement. “Oncology continues to be the largest growth driver in global medicine, and this acquisition will enhance Pfizer’s position in this important space and contribute meaningfully to the achievement of Pfizer’s near- and long-term financial goals.”

The acquisition is expected to close in late 2023 or early 2024. Pfizer plans to finance the deal through $31 billion of new, long-term debt capital as well as short-term financing and existing cash.

This is not Pfizer’s first acquisition. The company announced plans to acquire San Francisco-based Global Blood Therapeutics in August. That deal closed in October for approximately $5.4 billion.

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