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Pfizer buys cancer therapy specialist Seagen for $43B

Seagen, formerly known as Seattle Genetics, specializes in developing cancer therapies like Adcetris — a drug used to treat Hodgkin's lymphoma.
A man walks by the Pfizer headquarters.
Posted at 3:21 PM, Mar 13, 2023

Pfizer is investing $43 billion to expand its oncology portfolio and accelerate the development of cancer treatments.

In a major pharmaceutical deal, the company announced Monday it's acquiring cancer drugmaker Seagen Inc. for $229 per share.

Seagen, formerly known as Seattle Genetics, specializes in developing cancer therapies that work by attaching antibodies to cancer cells, enabling the immune system to recognize and destroy them while preserving surrounding tissue.

The company's leading technology is Adcetris — a drug used to treat Hodgkin's lymphoma and other types of cancer.

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“Pfizer is deploying its financial resources to advance the battle against cancer, a leading cause of death worldwide with a significant impact on public health,” said Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Together, Pfizer and Seagen seeks to accelerate the next generation of cancer breakthroughs and bring new solutions to patients by combining the power of Seagen’s antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology with the scale and strength of Pfizer’s capabilities and expertise."

Pfizer is flush with cash after raking in about $100 billion in revenue last year thanks to the sales of its COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Meanwhile, Seagen brought in nearly $2 billion in revenue last year and expects to surpass $2.2 billion in sales this year. 

“The proposed combination with Pfizer is the right next step for Seagen to further its strategy," said Seagen CEO David Epstein. "This compelling transaction will deliver significant and immediate value to our stockholders and provide new opportunities for our colleagues as part of a larger science-driven, patient-centric, global company.”

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Pfizer's acquisition of Seagen is the latest in a series of big-ticket deals the pharmaceutical industry has seen in recent years.

In 2020, biomedical company AbbVie announced its $63 billion merger with drugmaker Allergen, and in 2019, Bristol Myers Squibb acquired cancer drugmaker Celgen for $74 billion.

The Pfizer-Seagen deal is subjected to regulatory approval and is expected to be finalized later this year.