The deal sees Pfizer pay $11.4bn (€10.1bn) in cash to acquire Array BioPharma, which has a focus on developing small molecule drugs in oncology.
Its portfolio contains the combination treatment Braftovi (encorafenib) and Mektovi (binimetinib) for the treatment of BRAFV600E or BRAFV600K mutant unresectable or metastatic melanoma.
The combination therapy is currently being investigated in more than 30 clinical trials across various solid tumour indications, including colorectal cancer.
Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, said, “The proposed acquisition of Array strengthens our innovative biopharmaceutical business, is expected to enhance its long-term growth trajectory, and sets the stage to create a potentially industry-leading franchise for colorectal cancer alongside Pfizer’s existing expertise in breast and prostate cancers.”
Bolstering the pipeline
The two companies have experience in collaboration, having signed a clinical trial collaboration agreement in December 2017. This agreement sees the two companies exploring a triple-therapy combination treatment, with Mektovi alongside Pfizer’s Talzenna (talazoparib) and Bavencio (avelumab) for the potential treatment of non-small cell lung cancer and pancreatic cancer.
Array is also developing its own triple-therapy, which involves Braftovi, Mektovi and Eli Lilly’s Erbitux (cetuximab).
The company posted Phase III trial data for the treatment in colorectal cancer, which showed a statistically significant improvement to overall survival over the control group by reducing the risk of death by 48%.
According to Array, it will submit the data for regulatory review by the US Food and Drug Administration in the second half of 2019.
Beyond this, Pfizer pointed towards Array’s pipeline of products within cancer medicine and out-licensed products as potential further sources of revenue from the deal.
Pfizer announced that all of Array’s employees will join the company and its network of facilities will join the company’s oncology R&D network.
The only acquisition previous to this that Pfizer has completed recently was its $820m acquisition of Therachon, a relatively small deal compared the company’s previous exercises in M&A and this latest deal.
The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2019.