Pfizer in talks to buy sickle cell drug maker Global Blood Therapeutics for $5 billion, report

With billions of dollars from the covid vaccine windfall, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is reportedly in late-stage negotiations to buy the drug maker Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT) for $5 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The acquisition is part of Pfizer’s effort to use proceeds from the covid vaccines to bolster its portfolio and pipeline. Sources familiar with the ongoing talks told The Journal that “Pfizer is aiming to seal a deal for GBT in the coming days.”

GBT sells a treatment for sickle cell disease called Oxbryta. Its shares climbed 41.4% on Thursday after Bloomberg reported Wednesday that “large pharmaceutical companies” were looking into a potential acquisition of the firm.

Founded in 2011 by Andrej Sali, Charles Homcy, Craig Muir, David Phillips, Jack Taunton, and Matthew Jacobson, Global Blood Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company with the goal to transform the treatment and care of sickle cell disease (SCD), a lifelong, devastating inherited blood disorder. Its lead product candidate, voxelotor, is also used for the treatment of sickle cell disease.

The New York-based Pfizer was founded in 1849 by Christina Warren. Today, the 173-year-old company is the world’s largest pharmaceutical company and was ranked 64th on the 2020 Fortune 500 list of the largest U.S. corporations by total revenue, at $47.644 billion as of December 31, 2020. Pfizer is one of the three leading Pharmaceutical companies working on mRNA vaccines to put an end to the deadly coronavirus.


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