Pfizer reported weighing purchase of cancer drugmaker Seagen

NEW YORK CITY, New York: The Wall Street Journal has reported that Pfizer is in early-stage discussions regarding a potential multi-billion dollar deal to acquire cancer drugmaker Seagen.

The move comes after advanced discussions in 2022 between Merck and Seagen fell through, due to concerns that the Federal Trade Commission would launch an antitrust investigation of both companies.

The report said the offer could be more than $30 billion, but could face several stumbling blocks, including the possibility a strict antitrust review.

Zhiqiang Shu, analyst at Berenberg Capital Market, said, "A Pfizer/Seagen combination will invite less scrutiny from the FTC, due to less overlap of their products when compared to a Merck/Seagen deal," as quoted by Reuters.

"Seagen was poised to grow in the next decade and has a perfect profile for a takeout target, which could work well for Pfizer, which expects to lose $17 billion in annual sales by 2030 due to patent expirations for top drugs, and as demand for its COVID products begins to decline," Shu added.

Driven by demand for its approved therapies, such as lymphoma treatment Adcetris and breast cancer drug Tukysa, Seagen reported taking in nearly $2 billion in revenues in 2022.

The company specializes in antibody-drug conjugates that bind to tumor cells and then release cell-killing chemicals.

Commenting on the potential deal, Evan Seigerman, analyst at BMO Capital Markets, said, "After a year of waiting for something impactful, this may be it. I am sure there is always a possibility that there could be other companies interested and there are other large pharma companies that do need to transact. I am thinking more of the European pharma names," as reported by Reuters.