Acquisition brings leading sickle cell disease portfolio and pipeline to Pfizer with potential to address critical needs in an underserved patient community
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) announced today the completion of its acquisition of Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc. (GBT), a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and delivery of life-changing treatments that provide hope to underserved patient communities starting with sickle cell disease (SCD). The acquisition reinforces Pfizer’s commitment to SCD, building on a 30-year legacy in the rare hematology space.
GBT brings a portfolio and pipeline that has the potential to address the full spectrum of critical needs for this underserved community. GBT discovered and developed Oxbryta® (voxelotor), a first-in-class medicine that directly targets the root cause of SCD. In addition, GBT’s promising pipeline of preclinical and clinical investigational assets focused in SCD includes GBT021601 (GBT601) and inclaclumab, both of which have received Orphan Drug and Rare Pediatric Disease designations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“With Global Blood Therapeutics’ talent, portfolio, and pipeline now part of Pfizer, we look forward to accelerating innovation and expeditiously bringing multiple potential best-in-class treatments to people living with sickle cell disease,” said Aamir Malik, Chief Business Innovation Officer, Executive Vice President, Pfizer. “In line with our value of equity, Pfizer is committed to addressing the underserved needs of the sickle cell disease community. We are excited about these potential breakthroughs and the opportunity to transform the lives of these patients.”
SCD is a lifelong, devastating inherited blood disorder impacting millions of people worldwide, predominantly in populations of African, Middle Eastern and South Asian descent. Pfizer will continue to build on the companies’ shared commitment to and engagement with the SCD community.
Additional Transaction Details
Pfizer has completed its acquisition of all the outstanding shares of common stock of GBT for $68.50 per share in cash for an estimated total enterprise value of approximately $5.4 billion, including debt and net of cash acquired. GBT is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Pfizer. In connection with the acquisition, GBT’s shares of common stock ceased trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.
For additional background on the acquisition, please read the announcement press release here.
About Sickle Cell Disease
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a lifelong, debilitating inherited blood disorder characterized by hemolytic anemia, acute pain crises and progressive end organ damage. Acute pain crisis, or vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC), occurs when sickled red blood cells irritate the lining of blood vessels and cause an inflammatory response leading to vascular occlusion, tissue ischemia and pain. Complications of SCD begin in early childhood and are associated with shortened life expectancy. Early intervention and treatment of SCD have shown potential to modify the course of this disease, reduce symptoms and events, prevent long-term organ damage, and extend life expectancy. Historically, there has been a high unmet need for therapies that address the root cause of SCD and its acute and chronic complications. SCD occurs particularly among those whose ancestors are from sub-Saharan Africa, though it also occurs in people of Hispanic, South Asian, Southern European and Middle Eastern ancestry.
About Oxbryta® (voxelotor)
Oxbryta (voxelotor) is an oral, once-daily therapy for patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). Oxbryta works by increasing hemoglobin’s affinity for oxygen. Since oxygenated sickle hemoglobin does not polymerize, Oxbryta inhibits sickle hemoglobin polymerization and the resultant sickling and destruction of red blood cells leading to hemolysis and hemolytic anemia, which are primary pathologies faced by every single person living with SCD.
In November 2019, the FDA granted accelerated approval for Oxbryta tablets for the treatment of SCD in adults and children 12 years of age and older, and in December 2021, the FDA expanded the approved use of Oxbryta for the treatment of SCD in patients 4 years of age and older in the United States. As a condition of accelerated approval for patients ages 4 and older in the United States, GBT will continue to study Oxbryta in the HOPE-KIDS 2 Study, a post-approval confirmatory study using transcranial Doppler (TCD) flow velocity to assess the ability of the therapy to decrease stroke risk in children 2 to 14 years of age.
In recognition of the critical need for new SCD treatments, the FDA granted Oxbryta Breakthrough Therapy, Fast Track, Orphan Drug, and Rare Pediatric Disease designations for the treatment of patients with SCD. Additionally, Oxbryta received the prestigious 2021 Prix Galien USA award for “Best Biotechnology Product” from The Galien Foundation.
Oxbryta has been granted Priority Medicines (PRIME) designation from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Oxbryta was designated by the European Commission (EC) as an orphan medicinal product for the treatment of patients with SCD, and Oxbryta was granted Promising Innovative Medicine (PIM) designation in the United Kingdom from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). In February 2022, the European Commission (EC) granted Marketing Authorization for Oxbryta for the treatment of hemolytic anemia due to SCD in adult and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older as monotherapy or in combination with hydroxycarbamide (hydroxyurea). The MHRA has granted Oxbryta marketing authorization in Great Britain for the treatment of hemolytic anemia due to SCD in adult and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older. In addition, Oxbryta has received marketing authorization for the treatment of SCD in adults and children 12 years of age and older in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries of Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Important Safety Information
Oxbryta should not be taken if the patient has had an allergic reaction to voxelotor or any of the ingredients in Oxbryta. See the end of the patient leaflet for a list of the ingredients in Oxbryta. Oxbryta can cause serious side effects, including serious allergic reactions. Patients should tell their healthcare provider or get emergency medical help right away if they get rash, hives, shortness of breath (difficult breathing) or swelling of the face.
The most common side effects of Oxbryta include headache, diarrhea, stomach-area (abdominal) pain, nausea, rash or hives, and fever. The most common side effects of Oxbryta in children ages 4 to less than 12 years of age include fever, vomiting, rash, stomach-area (abdominal) pain, diarrhea, and headache. These are not all the possible side effects of Oxbryta. Before taking Oxbryta, patients should tell their healthcare provider about all medical conditions, including if they have liver problems; if they are pregnant or plan to become pregnant as it is not known if Oxbryta can harm an unborn baby; or if they are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed as it is not known if Oxbryta can pass into breastmilk or if it can harm a baby. Patients should not breastfeed during treatment with Oxbryta and for at least 2 weeks after the last dose.
Patients should tell their healthcare provider about all the medicines they take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements. Some medicines may affect how Oxbryta works. Oxbryta may also affect how other medicines work and may affect the results of certain blood tests.
Patients are advised to call their doctor for medical advice about side effects. Side effects can be reported to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. Side effects can also be reported at 1-833-428-4968.
Full Prescribing Information for Oxbryta is available at Oxbryta.com.
About Pfizer: Breakthroughs That Change Patients’ Lives
At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 170 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. We routinely post information that may be important to investors on our website at www.Pfizer.com. In addition, to learn more, please visit us on www.Pfizer.com and follow us on Twitter at @Pfizer and @Pfizer News, LinkedIn, YouTube and like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Pfizer.
The information contained in this release is as of October 5, 2022. Pfizer assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements contained in this release as the result of new information or future events or developments.
This release contains forward-looking information about, among other things, Pfizer’s acquisition of GBT, Oxbryta, GBT’s pipeline, including inclacumab and GBT021601 (GBT601), and potential peak sales, and expected best-in-class and growth potential, including their potential benefits, that involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Risks and uncertainties include, among other things, risks related to the ability to realize the anticipated benefits of the acquisition, including the possibility that the expected benefits from the acquisition will not be realized or will not be realized within the expected time period; the risk that the businesses will not be integrated successfully; negative effects of the consummation of the acquisition on the market price of Pfizer’s common stock and/or operating results; significant transaction costs; unknown liabilities; the risk of litigation and/or regulatory actions related to the acquisition or GBT’s business; other business effects and uncertainties, including the effects of industry, market, business, economic, political or regulatory conditions; future exchange and interest rates; changes in tax and other laws, regulations, rates and policies; future business combinations or disposals; uncertainties regarding the commercial success of Oxbryta; the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including the ability to meet anticipated clinical endpoints, commencement and/or completion dates for clinical trials, regulatory submission dates, regulatory approval dates and/or launch dates, as well as the possibility of unfavorable new clinical data and further analyses of existing clinical data; risks associated with interim data; the risk that clinical trial data are subject to differing interpretations and assessments by regulatory authorities; whether regulatory authorities will be satisfied with the design of and results from the clinical studies; whether and when drug applications may be filed in any additional jurisdictions for Oxbryta or in any jurisdictions for inclacumab, GBT601 or any other investigational products; whether and when any such applications may be approved by regulatory authorities, which will depend on myriad factors, including making a determination as to whether the product's benefits outweigh its known risks and determination of the product's efficacy and, if approved, whether inclacumab, GBT601 or any such other products will be commercially successful; decisions by regulatory authorities impacting labeling, manufacturing processes, safety and/or other matters that could affect the availability or commercial potential of inclacumab, GBT601 or any such other products; uncertainties regarding the impact of COVID-19; and competitive developments.
A further description of risks and uncertainties can be found in Pfizer’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021 and in its subsequent reports on Form 10-Q, including in the sections thereof captioned “Risk Factors” and “Forward-Looking Information and Factors That May Affect Future Results”, as well as in its subsequent reports on Form 8-K, all of which are filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and available at www.sec.gov and www.pfizer.com.