AbbVie Strengthens Cancer Portfolio with its $21 Billion Acquisition of Pharmacyclics

AbbVie Inc. announced late Wednesday that it will purchase cancer drugmaker Pharmacyclics for roughly $21 billion.

AbbVie will pay $216.25 per share in cash and stock, a 13 percent premium to Pharmacyclics’ Wednesday close. In exchange AbbVie will gain one of the world’s top-selling cancer drugs Imbruvica. The acquisition strengthens AbbVie’s already robust oncology pipeline and establishes its strong leadership position in hematological oncology, a rapidly growing market.

Pharmacyclics’ Imbruvica is expected to generate annual sales of $1 billion this year, up from $492.4 million in 2014, and the rapidly growing hematological oncology market is expected to reach $24 billion.

Imbruvica is a Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor approved for use in four indications to treat three different blood cancers including chronic lymphocytic leukemia, mantle cell lymphoma and Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia. The drug is currently the only one on the market to receive three Breakthrough Therapy Designations from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“The acquisition of Pharmacyclics is a strategically compelling opportunity. The addition of Pharmacyclics’ talented and innovative team will add enormous value to AbbVie,” said Richard A. Gonzalez, chairman and chief executive officer, AbbVie. “It’s flagship product, Imbruvica, is not only complementary to AbbVie’s oncology pipeline, it has demonstrated strong clinical efficacy across a broad range of hematologic malignancies and raised the standard of care for patients.”

The acquisition has been approved by both companies’ Boards of Directors. AbbVie said that it expects the deal to close in mid-2015.

“Team Pharmacyclics is honored and enthusiastic to join the AbbVie organization. We share a common purpose. Together and as one, our focus remains to create a remarkable difference for patient betterment around the world,” said Bob Duggan, chairman and chief executive officer, Pharmacyclics.

Source: AbbVie Inc.

Last updated: 3/5/15; 8:25am EST

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