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Pfizer’s proposed $2.26-billion acquisition of Trillium Therapeutics will add next-generation hematology-targeted immuno-therapeutics to its oncology pipeline.
Pfizer announced on Aug. 23, 2021 that it will acquire Trillium Therapeutics, a Massachusetts-based clinical-stage immuno-oncology company in a deal worth $2.26 billion. The acquisition will add two lead molecules in development for treating hematological malignancies (e.g., blood, bone marrow, and lymph node cancers) to Pfizer’s oncology pipeline.
Under the agreement, Pfizer will acquire all outstanding shares of Trillium that it does not already own for $18.50 per share, an implied equity value of $2.26 billion, in cash. The transaction price represents a 118% premium to the 60-day weighted average price for Trillium, according to a company press release.
Trillium’s portfolio consists of biologics designed to enhance the innate ability of the immune system to detect and destroy cancer cells. The two lead molecules, TTI-622 and TTI-621, block the signal-regulatory protein α (SIRPα)–CD47 axis, which has shown to be a key immune checkpoint in hematological malignancies. TTI-622 and TTI-621 are novel SIRPα-Fc fusion proteins currently in Phase Ib/II development across several hematological malignancy-related indications.
TTI-622 and TTI-621 have demonstrated in clinical studies to-date activity as a monotherapy option in relapsed or refractory lymphoid malignancies, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, peripheral T-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, and other lymphoid malignancies. The two molecules are currently the only known CD47-targeted molecules that have demonstrated meaningful single-agent activity and complete responses in multiple hematological malignancies.
“We are encouraged by the early clinical data for TTI-622 and TTI-621 monotherapy for patients with heavily pretreated lymphoid malignancies and early encouraging activity for TTI-622 in patients with multiple myeloma. Just as PD-1 [programmed cell death protein 1] and PD-L1 [programmed cell death ligand 1] blockers have proven to be effective immuno-therapeutics for many solid tumors, the SIRPα-CD47 interaction defines a second key immune checkpoint for which disrupting agents are expected to become another important backbone immunotherapy for multiple types of cancer, especially hematological cancers,” said Chris Boshoff, chief development officer, Oncology, Pfizer Global Product Development, in the press release. “Utilizing Pfizer’s leading research and global development capabilities, we plan to accelerate the clinical development of SIRPα fusion proteins as a potential new scientific breakthrough and explore combinations within our own portfolio and with innovative next-generation medicines for hematological malignancies.”
“The proposed acquisition of Trillium builds on our strong track record of leadership in Oncology, enhancing our hematology portfolio as we strive to improve outcomes for people living with blood cancers around the globe. Our deep experience in understanding the science of blood cancers, along with the diverse knowledge base we have developed across our growing hematology portfolio of eight approved and investigational therapies, provide us with a foundation to advance these important potential medicines to patients who need them,” said Andy Schmeltz, global president and general manager, Pfizer Oncology, in the press release.
“Trillium has the only known SIRPα–CD47 targeting molecules with clinically meaningful monotherapy responses as well as a strong basis for combination therapies, which is supported by preclinical evidence with a diverse set of therapeutic agents. With Pfizer’s global reach and deep capabilities, we believe our programs will advance more quickly to the patients we’ve always aspired to serve. We believe this is a good outcome for patients and our shareholders,” said Jan Skvarka, CEO of Trillium, in the press release.