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Pfizer buys CovX to augment biologics base

Pfizer buys private held US biotechnology company CovX to augment its own pipeline of biologic drugs

Pfizer has bought the private US biotechnology company CovX to augment its own pipeline of biologic drugs.

CovX has one early-stage diabetes candidate and two early-stage cancer treatment candidates, according to Pfizer; it will become part of the company's Biotherapeutic and Bioinnovation Centre in the US.

Financial terms of the deal were undisclosed, but were expected to finalise in Q1 2008.

Pfizer is facing increased generic competition as it loses patent protection on sales-heavy conventional pharmaceuticals, such as its antidepressant Zoloft (sertraline) and antihypertensive drug, Norvasc (amlodipine). The addition of difficult-to-copy biologic products offers an attractive solution.

Pfizer said it would retain CovX research scientists within the company.

Pfizer's share increased by USD 0.22 cents to reach USD 23.19 in a.m. trading on the announcement.

The Wall Street Journal says Big Pharma has spent USD 76bn since 2005 on buying biotech companies. During the first nine months of 2007, there were 49 deals totalling USD 28.7bn, which includes the USD 15.6bn acquisition of MedImmune by UK-based AstraZeneca.

19th December 2007

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