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Pfizer to Buy Anacor, Add Eczema Treatment to Portfolio

Pfizer Inc. PFE announced that it will be acquiring biopharmaceutical company, Anacor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ANAC, for $99.25 per share or a total of about $5.2 billion (assuming the conversion of Anacor’s outstanding convertible notes). Anacor’s shares shot up more than 57% on the news.

With this acquisition, slated to close in the third quarter, Pfizer will add experimental eczema treatment, crisaborole, to its pipeline. Crisaborole is currently under FDA review for the treatment of mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis (eczema) with a response expected by Jan 7, 2017.

Apart from crisaborole, Pfizer will gain rights to Kerydin, a topical treatment for onychomycosis (toenail fungus) distributed and commercialized by Sandoz in the U.S.

These products should fit well in Pfizer’s innovative business and is in line with the company’s strategic focus on Inflammation and Immunology.

Pfizer estimates crisaborole has peak sales potential of at least $2 billion. According to information provided by the company in its press release, atopic dermatitis affects about 18 to 25 million people in the U.S. including 8% - 18% of infants and children.

With no new molecular entities being approved for atopic dermatitis in the last 15 years, crisaborole could gain share rapidly on commercialization. Pfizer is well-positioned to maximize crisaborole’s commercial potential given its strong presence in the inflammation and immunology market thanks to products like Enbrel and Xeljanz. But the market could get crowded as quite a few companies are working on bringing eczema treatments to market.

Pfizer maintained its guidance for 2016 but expects the deal to be slightly dilutive to 2017 earnings and accretive thereafter.

Pfizer’s announcement comes a few weeks after the company terminated its $160 billion merger agreement with Ireland-based Allergan plc AGN. Ever since that deal was terminated, expectations were high that Pfizer would announce a string of deals. In fact, the company is currently rumored to be interested in buying oncology-focused Medivation, Inc. MDVN.

Pfizer is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock. A better-ranked stock in the healthcare sector is Bristol-Myers Squibb Company BMY, a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock.

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BRISTOL-MYERS (BMY): Free Stock Analysis Report
PFIZER INC (PFE): Free Stock Analysis Report
ALLERGAN PLC (AGN): Free Stock Analysis Report
MEDIVATION INC (MDVN): Free Stock Analysis Report
ANACOR PHARMACT (ANAC): Free Stock Analysis Report
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