Array BioPharma to be acquired by drug giant Pfizer for $11.4B

Monday June 17, 2019 0 comments Tags: Boulder, Array BioPharma, Pfizer, Ron Squarer

BOULDER -- Drug manufacturing giant Pfizer and Array BioPharma today announced they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Pfizer will acquire Array, a Boulder-based commercial stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of targeted small molecule medicines to treat cancer and other diseases of high unmet need.Array_Bio_logoUSE

Pfizer has agreed to acquire Array for $48 per share in cash for a total enterprise value of approximately $11.4 billion. The boards of directors of both companies have approved the merger.

Array’s portfolio includes the approved combined use of BRAFTOVI®(encorafenib) and MEKTOVI® (binimetinib) for the treatment of BRAFV600E or BRAFV600K mutant unresectable or metastatic melanoma.

Array said the combination therapy has significant potential for long-term growth via expansion into additional areas of unmet need and is currently being investigated in more than 30 clinical trials across several solid tumor indications, including the Phase 3 BEACON trial in BRAF-mutant metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC).

In the U.S., colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer in men and women. An estimated 140,250 patients were diagnosed with cancer of the colon or rectum in 2018, and approximately 50,000 are estimated to die of their disease each year. 

BRAF mutations are estimated to occur in up to 15% of colorectal cancer cases and represent a poor prognosis for these patients.

“Today’s announcement reinforces our commitment to deploy our capital to bring breakthroughs that change patients’ lives while creating shareholder value,” said Albert Bourla, Pfizer CEO.

“The proposed acquisition of Array strengthens our innovative biopharmaceutical business, is expected to enhance its long-term growth trajectory, and sets the stage to create a potentially industry-leading franchise for colorectal cancer alongside Pfizer’s existing expertise in breast and prostate cancers.”

In addition to the combination therapy for BRAF-mutant metastatic melanoma, Array brings a broad pipeline of targeted cancer medicines in development, as well as a portfolio of out-licensed potentially best-in-class and/or first-in-class medicines, which are expected to generate significant royalties over time.

“We are incredibly proud that Pfizer has recognized the value Array has brought to patients and our remarkable legacy discovering and advancing molecules with great potential to impact and extend the lives of patients in critical need,” said Ron Squarer, Array CEO.

“Pfizer shares our commitment to patients and a passion for advancing science to develop even more options for individuals with unmet needs. We’re excited our team will have access to world-class resources and a broader research platform to continue this critical work.”

“We are very excited by Array’s impressive track record of successfully discovering and developing innovative small-molecules and targeted cancer therapies,” said Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer chief scientific officer and president, Worldwide Research, Development and Medical.

“With Array’s exceptional scientific talent and innovative pipeline, combined with Pfizer’s leading research and development capabilities, we reinforce our commitment to advancing the most promising science, regardless of whether it is found inside or outside of our labs.”

Upon the close of the transaction, Array’s employees will join Pfizer and continue to be located in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Morrisville, North Carolina, as well as Boulder, which becomes part of Pfizer’s Oncology Research & Development network in addition to La Jolla, California and Pearl River, New York.

Pfizer said it expects to finance the majority of the transaction with debt and the balance with existing cash. The transaction is expected to be dilutive to Pfizer’s Adjusted Diluted EPS by $0.04 -$0.05 in 2019, $0.04 -$0.05 in 2020, neutral in 2021, and accretive beginning in 2022, with additional accretion and growth anticipated thereafter.

Pfizer said it will provide any appropriate updates to its current 2019 guidance in conjunction with its third quarter 2019 earnings release.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, a subsidiary of Pfizer will commence a cash tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of Array common stock for $48 per share in cash for a total enterprise value of approximately $11.4 billion.

The closing of the tender offer is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and the tender of a majority of the outstanding shares of Array common stock (on a fully-diluted basis). The merger agreement contemplates that Pfizer will acquire any shares of Array that are not tendered into the offer through a second-step merger, which will be completed promptly following the closing of the tender offer. Pfizer expects to complete the acquisition in the second half of 2019.

Pfizer’s financial advisors for the transaction were Guggenheim Securities, LLC, and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, with Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz acting as its legal advisor. Centerview Partners served as Array’s exclusive financial advisor, while Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as its legal advisor.