Aug 5 (Reuters) - Pfizer Inc is in advanced talks to
buy drugmaker Global Blood Therapeutics for about $5
billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing
people familiar with the matter.
Pfizer is aiming to seal a deal in the coming days, but
other suitors are still in the mix, the report said.
Shares of Global Blood, which makes a blood disorder drug
called Oxbryta, soared 44% in afternoon trade to a two-year
high. The company had a market capitalization of $3.12 billion,
as of Thursday's closing price.
Pfizer declined to comment on the report, while a Global
Blood spokesperson said it does not "comment on market rumors or
New York-based Pfizer, flush with cash from its COVID-19
vaccine, is on the lookout for acquisitions that could bring in
billions in annual sales by the end of the decade.
Its $11.6 billion deal for migraine drug maker Biohaven
Pharmaceutical Holding in May was the latest in a
string of acquisitions including Trillium Therapeutics and Arena
Pharmaceuticals over recent years.
Global Blood's Oxbryta was approved in the United States for
the treatment of sickle cell disease among patients 12 years and
older in 2019. In December, the oral drug received approval for
the treatment of the condition in younger patients as well.
Sales of the drug rose more than 50% to $194.7 million in
Biotech dealmaking activity has picked up again in recent
months after a bleak start to the year, when a dearth of major
acquisitions and clinical-stage drug failures dampened investor
sentiment and squeezed funding.
On Thursday, Amgen Inc agreed to buy drugmaker
ChemoCentryx Inc for $3.7 billion to gain access to a
potential blockbuster treatment for inflammatory disorders.
(Reporting by Amruta Khandekar; Editing by Aditya Soni and