Rumors: Pfizer in talks to buy Seagen

Feb. 27, 2023

Pfizer is in early-stage talks to acquire cancer drugmaker Seagen, reported the Wall Street Journal yesterday, citing people familiar with the matter.

It's not the first time buyout rumors have swirled around the Washington-based biotech. Back in July 2022, talks of a potential $40 billion buyout by Merck began circulating. Merck had been tied to Seagen since 2020, when the drugmaker made a $1 billion equity investment in the Seattle biotech. By August, however, it was reported that the deal had stalled over price.

Seagen is focused on antibody-drug conjugates (ADC) research and the use of the technology in the treatment of cancer — a hot area for oncology. 

Last week, AstraZeneca and China-based KYM Biosciences inked a global license agreement for a potential first-in-class ADC targeting Claudin 18.2 — a promising therapeutic target in gastric cancer. Back in December,  Amgen inked a $1.25 billion ADC deal with LegoChem Biosciences. Around the same time, Merck & Co. and China-based Kelun-Biotech entered into an exclusive agreement to develop seven investigational preclinical ADCs for the treatment of cancer — a deal that could reach $9.3 billion.

Seagen reported revenues of $2 billion in 2022, driven by demand for its approved therapies such as lymphoma treatment Adcetris and breast cancer drug Tukysa.