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Pfizer rides out Sanofi and confirms $14bn Medivation takeover

Success of cancer specialist’s drug Xtandi followed by work on other cancer drugs

Pfizer HQ building 

Pfizer has agreed a $14bn deal to acquire Medivation, enticing the cancer specialist away from other big pharma suitors.

The US pharma group announced this morning that an $81.50-per-share offer for Medivation had been accepted. that the final figure represents a huge premium to a $52.50 bid tabled by Sanofi earlier this year, later raised to $58 with an extra $3 in contingent value rights.

Medivation rejected both those offers out of hand but later agreed to open its books for scrutiny - although not exclusively to Sanofi. Pfizer, Novartis, Celgene, Merck & Co, Gilead and AstraZeneca have all been mentioned in connection with a possible takeover in recent weeks.

Medivation is in demand as it already has one very successful drug on the market - prostate cancer treatment Xtandi (enzalutamide) - as well as a well-regarded pipeline headed by PARP inhibitor talazoparib, which is in phase III trials in BRCA-positive breast cancer, and brain cancer candidate pidilizumab.

Partnered with Astellas, Xtandi made $1.9bn in sales last year and is on course to show impressive growth once again in 2016, with first-half sales upwards of $1.1bn and a claimed market share of 51% in the prostate cancer hormonal therapy market. 

There is plenty of room for further growth of Xtandi, according to analysts. Medivation is waiting for an FDA verdict on new labelling from a head-to-head trial comparing Xtandi to bicalutamide - already in the EU label for the drug.

Meanwhile, the company is also hoping phase III trials will support the expansion of the drug's use into non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer as well as breast cancer. It is also waiting on the outcome of its first talazoparib registration trial early next year.

In April, Pfizer scrapped a planned merger with Allergan after the deal fell foul of a change in US tax laws, and there has been speculation that the US pharma giant is actively seeking out other M&A opportunities.

Article by
Phil Taylor

22nd August 2016

From: Sales

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