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Pfizer buys Global Blood Therapeutics for $5.4 billion
Both drugs have received orphan drug designation from the FDA
Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT), a rare disease pharmaceutical company, has been bought by Pfizer for $5.4 billion in cash. The purchase will give Pfizer ownership of Oxbryta, a sickle cell disease-fighting drug which generated $195 million in 2021, with Pfizer expecting an increase in profits when it’s introduced to the global market.
The acquisition is hoped to enhance Pfizer’s presence in Rare Haematology, starting with sickle cell disease, by bringing knowledge and a leading portfolio to the table. Albert Bourla, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer stated:
“Sickle cell disease is the most common inherited blood disorder, and it disproportionately affects people of African descent. We are excited to welcome GBT colleagues into Pfizer and to work together to transform the lives of patients, as we have long sought to address the needs of this underserved
community. The deep market knowledge, and scientific and clinical capabilities we have built over three decades in rare haematology will enable us to accelerate innovation for the sickle cell disease community, and bring these treatments to patients as quickly as possible.”
GBT also has an extensive pipeline which includes several drugs to treat rare haematological conditions. GBT601 is an oral, once-daily, next-generation sickle haemoglobin (HbS) polymerisation inhibitor in Phase II of a three Phase trial. It is hoped to improve patients suffering from haemolysis and vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC). Another drug in the pipeline is inclacumab, a fully human monoclonal antibody-targeting P-selectin currently being evaluated in two Phase III clinical trials as a potential quarterly treatment for VOCs. Both drugs have received Orphan Drug and Rare Pediatric Disease Designations from the FDA.