Pfizer's $43 Billion Deal to Buy Seagen Gets Cleared After Donating Cancer Drug Rights

By Jace Dela Cruz

Dec 13, 2023 02:07 AM EST

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer on Tuesday said it is set to finalize its $43 billion acquisition of cancer drugmaker Seagen this week, with the expected closing date on December 14. 

The announcement follows the expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, indicating that Pfizer and Seagen have received all necessary regulatory approvals for the deal.

(Photo : JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images)
This photograph taken on December 22, 2020 in Puurs shows the logo of US multinational pharmaceutical company Pfizer at the production site of the Covid-19 vaccine that was given the European Union's green light the day before, paving the way for vaccinations to finally start in the 27-nation bloc on December 27

Pfizer Acquisition of Seagen

As part of the acquisition process, Pfizer said it had addressed concerns from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by choosing to donate the rights of royalties from Bavencio (avelumab) sales in the US to the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).

This move aims to address potential antitrust issues, with the company emphasizing its commitment to supporting cancer research and treatment. Simultaneously, Pfizer revealed significant organizational changes in its commercial business.

The company will establish a new entity, the Pfizer Oncology Division, to integrate certain commercial and research and development (R&D) operations from both Pfizer and Seagen. 

Chris Boshoff, who currently runs Pfizer's cancer research and development, will assume the role of chief oncology officer and executive vice president, leading this division, and will report directly to CEO Albert Bourla.

The non-oncology commercial business will be split into two distinct divisions: the Pfizer US Commercial Division, under the leadership of Aamir Malik as Chief US Commercial Officer and Executive Vice President, and the Pfizer International Commercial Division, headed by Alexandre de Germay as Chief International Commercial Officer and Executive Vice President. 

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Structural Changes in Pfizer

"The completion of all regulatory reviews in association with the Seagen acquisition supports our belief that this transaction is good for patients in the battle against cancer," said Bourla.

"With the anticipated Seagen closing in the coming days, Pfizer has announced changes to the company's commercial structure designed to maximize the impact of this transaction and enhance our commercial execution across all the company's therapeutic areas," he added.

Pfizer also announced that Chief Commercial Officer Angela Hwang would step down but has agreed to stay on as an advisor during the transition into the new organizational model. The structural changes are expected to take effect on January 1, 2024. 

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