Pfizer (NYSE: PFE ) is set to acquire the U.K. biotechnology company ReViral for $525 million, including milestone payments, the company said on Thursday.
The move will provide Pfizer with access to experimental therapies developed to combat the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common virus that infects the respiratory tract and leads to symptoms similar to a normal cold.
ReViral is developing four RSV therapies, two of which are currently in mid-stage studies, including its flagship therapy candidate sisunatovir.
This is the second buyout deal for Pfizer in less than six months after the U.S. biopharmaceutical giant acquired Arena Pharmaceuticals for $6.7 billion in December.
The RSV prevention market is expected to grow by 14x to $6.3 billion in the period between 2020 and 2030, according to GlobalData, urging global drugmakers to capitalize on the opportunities in this market.
BMO analyst Evan Seigerman said that he would have liked to see something more impactful for Pfizer's nearer-term P&L. Still, he added that the ReViral acquisition doesn't prevent Pfizer from doing a bigger M&A.
With a potential of $1.5B in peak sales from these treatment assets (64M infections annually, 160k deaths globally), the company must continue with BD to expand the pipeline. We're interested in assets such as Trikafta/CF, Tepezza/Krystexxa, Vyvgart, assets in targeted oncology (adagrasib), neuroscience (Nurtec's US rights), and dermatology (e.g., Opzelura), the analyst said in a client note.
Truist analyst Robyn Karnauskas commented:
We see this acquisition of a -1) Ph1/2 POC; 2) private company; 3) with pipeline in an area of unmet need, as a potential return to M&A, especially in an environment where companies seem to face hurdles going public.
Pfizer stock closed at $52.87 yesterday.
By Senad Karaahmetovic
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