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Pfizer in advanced talks to buy Global Blood Therapeutics for $5 billion – Reuters

People pose with a syringe with a needle in front of the Pfizer logo displayed in this illustration taken December 11, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

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Aug 5 (Reuters) – Pfizer Inc is in advanced talks to buy drugmaker Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT.O) for about $5 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Pfizer is aiming to strike a deal in the coming days, but other suitors are still in the mix, according to the report.

Shares of Global Blood, which makes a blood disorder drug called Oxbryta, soared 44% in afternoon trading to a two-year high. The company had a market cap of $3.12 billion, as of Thursday’s closing price.

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Pfizer declined to comment on the report, while a spokesperson for Global Blood said it “does not comment on rumors or market speculation.”

New York-based Pfizer, which has cash from its COVID-19 vaccine, is seeking acquisitions that could bring in billions in annual sales by the end of the decade.

Its $11.6 billion deal with migraine drug maker Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding (BHVN.N) in May was the latest in a series of acquisitions, including Trillium Therapeutics and Arena Pharmaceuticals over the past few years.

Global Blood’s Oxbryta was approved in the United States for the treatment of sickle cell disease in patients 12 years of age and older in 2019. In December, the oral drug was also approved for the treatment of the disease in younger patients.

Sales of the drug increased by more than 50% to $194.7 million in 2021.

Biotech trading activity has picked up in recent months after a dismal start to the year, when a dearth of major acquisitions and clinical-stage drug failures dampened investor sentiment and reduced funding.

Thursday, Amgen Inc. (AMGN.O) agreed to buy drugmaker ChemoCentryx Inc for $3.7 billion to gain access to a potentially successful treatment for inflammatory disorders. Read more

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Reporting by Amruta Khandekar; Editing by Aditya Soni and Devika Syamnath

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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