Pfizer to buy Arena Pharma

Dec. 13, 2021

Pfizer has announced that it will acquire San Diego biotech Arena Pharmaceuticals in an all-cash transaction that will total approximately $6.7 billion.

Arena is a clinical stage company developing innovative potential therapies for the treatment of several immuno-inflammatory diseases. Its portfolio includes promising development-stage therapeutic candidates in gastroenterology, dermatology, and cardiology, including etrasimod, an oral, selective sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor modulator. Etrasimod is currently in two phase 3 studies in ulcerative colitis, a phase 2/3 program in Crohn’s Disease, a planned phase 3 program in atopic dermatitis, and ongoing phase 2 studies in eosinophilic esophagitis and alopecia areata.

Arena is best known for weight loss drug Belviq, approved by the FDA in 2012. Arena sold the drug to partner Eisai in 2017, three years before the FDA requested the recall of the drug after a post-market safety trial showed that Belviq was linked to a small increased risk of cancer.

In terms of the acquisition, Arena posted a Q&A noting the details currently available at this time.