Skip to main content

Pfizer Grabs Pharmacia, Creates $7 Billion R&D Powerhouse

NEW YORK, July 15-Pfizer's acquisition of Pharmacia, announced today, will create a drug research powerhouse with a total R&D budget projected to top $7 billion.

 

This research jackpot would dwarf the budgets of other big spenders in the pharmaceutical arena and make Pfizer the undisputed leader in drug development spending.

 

In 2001, Pfizer spent $4.8 billion on research, and Pharmacia doled out $2.3 billion.

 

The nearest rival, GlaxoSmithKline, spent 2.5 billion pounds (nearly $4 billion U.S.) on R&D in 2000.

 

In the acquisition, Pfizer will assume control of a combined R&D pipeline of nearly 120 drugs currently in development.

 

Pfizer will also take charge of a number of recent collaborations that Pharmacia has struck with companies in the genomics and proteomics sectors.

 

In the last year, Pharmacia arranged an antisense inhibitor gene validation deal with Isis, a gene library agreement with Galapagos Genomics for target identification and validation, and a pharmacogenomics collaboration with DeCode Genetics. It also has a structural proteomics collaboration with Syrrx, which the biotech company claims is the pharmaceutical industry's first large-scale, multi-family research project in structural proteomics.

 

Pfizer, for its part, has recently struck an expanded toxicogenomics partnership with Gene Logic, arranged licenses for Gene-IT's sequence-comparing software and for Lion's ADME simulation platform, and launched a deal with Athersys to create human cell lines that express drug targets.

 

Pfizer will acquire Pharmacia through a stock-for-stock transaction valued at $60 billion. The company will exchange 1.4 shares of Pfizer stock for each share of Pharmacia stock, a premium of roughly 35 percent over Pharmacia's Friday closing price. Pharmacia will continue with its spin-off of Monsanto.

The Scan

And For Adolescents

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15 years old.

Also of Concern to WHO

The Wall Street Journal reports that the World Health Organization has classified the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.617 as a "variant of concern."

Test for Them All

The New York Times reports on the development of combined tests for SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses like influenza.

PNAS Papers on Oral Microbiome Evolution, Snake Toxins, Transcription Factor Binding

In PNAS this week: evolution of oral microbiomes among hominids, comparative genomic analysis of snake toxins, and more.