Pfiz­er buys a rare dis­ease biotech for $340M-plus, putting them on a path to com­pete with Bio­Marin

Pfiz­er is back in the deal­mak­ing busi­ness. And this time they’re fo­cused on build­ing up their port­fo­lio of rare dis­ease drugs with a buy­out.

Af­ter an un­usu­al qui­et pe­ri­od on the deal­mak­ing front, the phar­ma gi­ant has struck an $810 mil­lion pact to buy Ther­a­chon, a pri­vate Swiss biotech, for its ex­per­i­men­tal ther­a­py to treat dwarfism. And the ac­qui­si­tion makes them a ri­val to Bio­Marin, which has been at­tract­ing con­sid­er­able at­ten­tion for its own drug in the field.

The phar­ma gi­ant is pay­ing $340 mil­lion up­front plus $470 mil­lion more for mile­stones to nab TA-46 for the treat­ment of achon­dropla­sia. The drug is an FGFR3 de­coy which they be­lieve will cor­rect a sig­nal­ing path­way that trig­gers ab­nor­mal bone growth as­so­ci­at­ed with achon­dropla­sia. And Pfiz­er ex­ecs are pick­ing it up with Phase I proof-of-con­cept da­ta in hand.

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