Business News

AbbVie to acquire Pharmacyclics in $21bn deal

By Business & Finance
04 March 2015

AbbVie and Pharmacyclics today announced a definitive agreement under which AbbVie will acquire Pharmacyclics, and its flagship asset Imbruvica (ibrutinib), a highly effective treatment for hematologic malignancies.

It was previously thought that  Johnson & Johnson, which was offering about $250 a share, would acquire Pharmacyclics, however AbbVie placed a last-minute bid of $261.25 per share, comprised of a mix of cash and AbbVie equity, to close the deal. The AbbVie transaction values Pharmacyclics at approximately $21bn.

The acquisition accelerates AbbVie’s clinical and commercial presence in oncology, strengthening its already robust pipeline, and establishing its strong leadership position in hematological oncology – an attractive and rapidly growing market, now approaching $24bn globally.

Pharmacyclics flagship product, Imbruvica is a Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor approved for use in four indications to treat three different types of blood cancers including chronic lymphocytic leukemia, mantle cell lymphoma and Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia.

Imbruvica received initial US FDA approval in 2013 and is the only therapy to have received three Breakthrough Therapy designations by the FDA. It is currently approved in more than 40 countries. Significant opportunity exists with further Imbruvica indications, including solid tumors, the potential to leverage AbbVie’s immunology expertise for the development of Pharmacyclics’ immunology programmd, and advance AbbVie’s efforts in hematologic malignancies.

“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.

“Its 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.”