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Pfizer in Talks to Buy Cancer Drugmaker Seagen - WSJ

Feb 27 (Reuters) - Pfizer Inc is in early-stage talks to acquire cancer drugmaker Seagen Inc in what could be a multi-billion dollar deal, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Seagen had a market capitalization of roughly $30 billion, as of Friday's close.

Seagen was in advanced talks to be acquired by Merck, in a deal that would have been worth $40 billion or more, the Journal reported last year, but the two sides failed to reach an agreement, according to multiple reports.

Seagen's shares have fallen nearly 10% since July, when the deal talks with Merck were first reported. They rose 12.3% to $182 in premarket trading on Monday.

Pfizer declined to comment on the WSJ report, while Seagen did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Pfizer has said it expects to lose $17 billion in annual sales between 2025 and 2030 due to patent expirations for top drugs, and sales of its COVID-19 products have begun to decline after they contributed to an unprecedented surge in revenue.

While the drugmaker has turned to acquisitions such as its $5.4 billion buyout of Global Blood Therapeutics Inc and its $11.6 billion purchase of migraine drugmaker Biohaven, analysts have pointed to the need for larger deals.

"After a year of waiting for something impactful, this may be it," BMO Capital Markets analyst Evan Seigerman said in a research note, referring to the latest reported deal talks.

Seagen makes "guided-missile" cancer drugs known as antibody-drug conjugates. The company reported total 2022 revenues of nearly $2 billion, driven by demand for its approved therapies such as lymphoma treatment Adcetris and breast cancer drug Tukysa.

Reporting by Manas Mishra and Rahat Sandhu in Bengaluru; Editing by Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Shailesh Kuber

Source: Reuters

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