Trust favourite Array acquired by Pfizer
US cancer focussed biotech Array BioPharma (NASDAQ: ARRY) has accepted a $48 per share cash takeover offer from Pfizer, a 62% premium of its closing price on Friday and equivalent to an enterprise value of $11.4bn (market cap less net cash). Array, whose stock rose by 56% this morning, is holding of the UK’s International Biotechnology Trust (IBT) and other biotech collective investment vehicles. It has also been a highly successful investment for many bitoech investors, with the stock price now having risen over 13 fold over the past 3 years.
Array originated and markets two cancer drugs, Braftovi (encorafenib, a BRAF inhibitor), and Mekktovi (binimetinib, a MEK inhibitor), in the US, which are used in combination for the treatment of BRAFV600E or BRAFV600K mutant unresectable or metastatic melanoma. The two drugs are subject to a global development/marketing partnership with Pierre Fabre (which has exclusive marketing rights in Europe) and Ono (Japan/South Korea). The combination is also in a Phase III trial for BRAF-mutant metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), where interim data showed a triple combination with Erbitux producing an objective response rate (ORR) of 26.1% compared to 1.9% for Erbitux plus irinotecan-containing regimens control group in second-or-third-line treatment. The triplet combination showed a statistically significant improvement in ORR and overall survival, reducing the risk of death by 48% and could be the first chemotherapy-free, targeted regimen for patients with BRAF-mutant mCRC.
Array also has a several two clinical stage targeted cancer medicines and a portfolio of out-licensed products, including: Vitrakvi (larotrectinib; Bayer), selumetinib (AstraZeneca), tucatinib (Seattle Genetics), ipatasertib (Roche), varlitinib (Aslan), Loxo-292 (Lilly) and MRTX849 (Mirati Therapeutics).
Pfizer expects to complete the acquisition in the second half of 2019.