Wanted: Pfizer Seeks Shiny, New Headquarters in the Big Apple
By Mark Terry, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
Rather than upgrade the current two buildings, the company plans to lease more modern facilities somewhere else in Manhattan. The plan is to sell its headquarters by the end of next year and make the move no earlier than the first half of 2019.
“This move is being driven by the significant investment that would be required to bring the buildings to modern standards,” the Company said in a statement. “In terms of capital deployment, that is not where we want to focus.”
Pfizer was founded in Brooklyn in 1849. The company has been at its current headquarters location at 235 and 219 East 42nd Street since 1961.
It’s been a busy year for Pfizer. In April, after the U.S. Treasury Department put in place new rules regarding tax inversion, Pfizer terminated an acquisition agreement with Dublin-based Allergan (AGN), a deal that would have clocked in at around $160 billion.
Since then, the company has been making a series of small and medium-sized acquisitions and at least one major strategic decision, when it announced it no longer planned to split into two. Since at least 2012, the company has been considering splitting into two separate companies, one focused on mature brands, Pfizer Essential Health, and one focused on research and development and faster-growing products, Pfizer Innovative Health.
The biggest surprise was when Pfizer acquired Medivation (MDVN) for $14 billion, intervening in a hostile takeover attempt by Paris-based Sanofi (SNY). Only days later it announced it was buying part of AstraZeneca (AZN)’s antibiotics business.
In that deal, Pfizer bought the rights to commercialize and develop AstraZeneca’s late-stage small molecule antibiotics business in most global markets outside the U.S. That includes already approved antibiotics Merrem, Zinforo and Zavicefta, and two that are in clinical development, ATM-AVI and CXL. Pfizer is paying AstraZeneca $550 million when the deal closes, and another $175 million in January 2019. The company may also pay up to $250 million in various miles, as well as up to $600 million in sales-related payments, in addition to recurring, double-digit royalties on any future sales of Zaficefta and ATM-AVI in specific markets.
And in July, Pfizer, acting as the stalking horse bidder for Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Bind Therapeutics (BIND), acquired the company’s assets for $40 million. BIND focused on targeted and programmable compounds called Accurins that are engineered to target specific cells and tissues and deliver drugs to the disease sites.
On September 8, Pfizer took a stake in a biotech startup, Western Oncolytics, which spun out of the University of Pittsburgh. The company’s lead product, WO-12, is an immune-oncolytic, a virus engineered to replicate inside cancer cells, while delivering several genes that will help fight cancer. It also invested in Series A funding for AnTolRx, a company that is developing antigen-specific Targeted Nanoparticle Tolerance Therapeutics (TNTT) to treat immune disorders. Pfizer led the round, and has an exclusive option to in-license the type 1 diabetes candidate after it hits specific milestones.
On September 28, Pfizer signed an exclusive option and license agreement with Rockville, Maryland-based OncoImmune for ONC-392, a differentiated preclinical anti-CTLA4 monoclonal antibody. The deal is worth up to $250 million in upfront and possible milestone payments. ONC-392 targets CTLA4, which is secreted by cancer cells and blocks the immune system’s T-cells.
And yesterday, the company indicated it was selling its global infusion therapy business, Hospira Infusion Systems (HIS) to ICU Medical for $1 billion in cash and stock. Pfizer acquired Hospira in September 2015 in a deal worth about $17 billion. It has been selling off some of its Hospira assets since it acquired the company, largely because of antitrust issues.
With $160 billion apparently burning a hole in its corporate pockets after the Allergan deal fell through, Pfizer has been making a lot of deals. Stay tuned. The shopping spree may not be over.