Pfizer will buy Array BioPharma for $10.6 billion to gain its promising new medicines for cancer, which could end or limit the use of punishing chemotherapy for some patients.
The agreed price of $48 per share in cash is 62 percent above Array’s close last Friday — already a record high. The company’s shares have soared thanks to drugs that target a mutation that’s found across a wide variety of tumor types, and could be used in treating a broad set of cancers in patients who carry the mutation. Array’s drugs, Braftovi and Mektovi, are already approved in the U.S. for use in advanced melanoma.
Pfizer said in a statement that it will get royalties from the uses of drugs that Array has licensed out to other companies. It will acquire a pipeline of drugs in development, as well as future revenue from Braftovi and Mektovi in some other malignancies, such as colon cancer.
Array shares rose 58 percent in to $46.67 at 9:32 a.m. in New York. Pfizer was little changed.
Cancer has become one of the hottest areas for deal activity between drug and biotechnology companies. Research efforts dating back decades have helped scientists understand how genetic mutations cause some cancers to grow, and other scientific advances have helped them learn how tumors evade the body’s defenses. That knowledge has created an array of targets for drugmakers to attack, leading to new tailored therapies often defined by a tumor cell’s specific biology rather than its location in the body.
Unlike other biotech stocks, many of which have pulled back from recent 2018 highs, Array’s shares have been on a steady march upward.