Pfizer will be refiling its merger notification with the Federal Trade Commission for its proposed $43 billion acquisition of Seagen — the largest biopharma deal announced this year.
According to Seagen's SEC filing, Pfizer withdrew the merger notification and will be refiling it today. Pursuant to the Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust act, the transitions statutory waiting period will expire on July 14.
In response to growing consolidation in the biopharmaceutical industry, the FTC introduced a new working group in 2021, consisting of antitrust enforcers from various countries, dedicated to adopting a proactive stance in addressing anticompetitive pharmaceutical mergers. The initiative, vowing to more closely evaluate pharma mergers in light of concerns about anticompetitive behavior and drug pricing, has done precisely that.
The news comes a month after the FTC filed a lawsuit to block Amgen’s $28.7 billion Horizon purchase, saying that the deal would allow Amgen to use rebates on its existing blockbuster drugs to pressure insurance companies to favor Horizon’s drugs.
The FTC requested additional information and documentary materials, reiterating how both Amgen and Horizon had engaged in anticompetitive practices and leveraged with the insurers and PBMs that negotiate reimbursement for its products, especially those without direct competition.
Sanofi was in a similar position back in April, having to withdraw and refile its pre-merger notification and report form in connection with its pending $2.9 billion acquisition of Provention Bio in order to provide the FTC with additional time for a closer review.
Despite the FTC's efforts to slow the transactions, Amgen, Sanofi and Pfizer have stated they expect the sales to close this year or early 2024.