Vaccines Chess Game Continues With Baxter Sale To Pfizer
This article was originally published in The Pink Sheet Daily
Pfizer, which saw 13% growth in its global vaccines business during the second quarter, pays $635 million to buy a pair of vaccines from Baxter. The meningitis and encephalitis vaccines, sold mainly in Europe, are expected to generate combined sales of about $300 million this year.
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Novartis says the $275 million received from Australia’s CSL for its influenza unit was not a great price but was “the best” on offer, allowing the Swiss group to fully exit vaccines and continue moving ahead on its strategic plan.
Both companies have “breakthrough” therapy designations from FDA and both announced BLA filings on June 17, but Pfizer’s earlier completion of the rolling submission could give it an edge in the race to launch a meningitis B vaccine in the U.S.
A Pfizer break up is still an option even if the company completes a mega-merger with AstraZeneca, CEO Ian Read said May 5. The company’s first quarter sales and earnings results highlighted how important completing a transaction could be for the company, with sales down 9% and earnings down 15%.