Pfizer to Acquire New Haven Migraine Drug Maker Biohaven for $11.6 Billion


Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer officials announced on Tuesday that the company plans to acquire New Haven-based Biohaven Pharmaceuticals in an $11.6 billion deal.

The announcement comes six months after Pfizer began a collaboration to market Biohaven’s migraine drug, Nurtec, outside of the United States. Pfizer has invested $350 million to acquire 2.6% of Biohaven’s common stock at $173 per share as part of the collaboration.

Pfizer’s acquisition of Biohaven involves purchasing the remaining outstanding shares of the New Haven-based company for $148.50. The deal has already been approved by the boards of both companies, but still needs to be approved by shareholders and regulators.

The deal is expected to close early next year. Once the acquisition is complete, Biohaven will continue to operate under its own name.

Vlad Coric, president and CEO of Biohaven, said Pfizer’s capabilities “will accelerate our mission to bring our migraine medicines to even more patients.”

“We believe this transaction represents significant future value creation for patients and our collective shareholders,” Coric said in a statement.

In a conference call with analysts on Tuesday, Coric called Pfizer a “global drug development powerhouse.”

Angela Hwang, president of Pfizer’s biopharmaceutical group, said the company is preparing to launch Nurtec in 70 countries around the world. Pfizer’s sales force has experience promoting blockbuster drugs such as cholesterol treatment Lipitor, stroke and blood clot medication Eliquis and Viagra.

Nick Lagunowich, global president of Pfizer Internal Medicine, said the pipeline of other drug candidates from Nurtec and Biohaven “offers hope to migraine patients around the world.”

“We believe Pfizer is uniquely positioned to help the portfolio reach its full potential given our scale and industry-leading capabilities,” Lagunowich said in a statement.

In addition to Nurtec, Biohaven is developing Zavegepant, a nasal spray for the treatment of migraines. The company plans to file a new drug application for zavegepant with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration later this year.

Biohaven is also developing a gentle oral gel for the prevention of chronic migraine.

Aamir Malik, chief innovation officer at Pfizer, said migraines affect 1 billion people worldwide, including 40 million in the United States alone.

“Migraines are one of the biggest illnesses in the world,” Malik said.

Coric said Nurtec has filled more than 2 million prescriptions since receiving FDA approval in February 2020.

Biohaven stock, which trades under the ticker symbol BHVN on the Nasdaq stock exchange, had seen its price drop in recent weeks. The stock, which had been trading at levels above $100 since last June, fell to $83.64 at the close of trading on Monday.

Biohaven stock closed at $140 per share on Tuesday, up $56.86 or more than 68%.

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