Can Indian companies be on Pfizer’s next M&A spree?

On February 5, 2015, it was yet another historical moment for Pfizer as it officially announced its plan to acquire US-based Hospira, a leader in manufacturing injectable drugs and infusion technologies for $16 billion

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Pfizer has approximately US $15 billion of sales at risk from generic/biosimilar competition over the next 5 years (Photo Courtesy: www.cnbc.com)

Pfizer has approximately $15 billion of sales at risk from generic/biosimilar competition over the next 5 years, with the biggest losses expected to be suffered by its drugs including Lyrica, Zyvox, Viagra and Vfend.

Despite the recent approval of Ibrance (palbociclib), Pfizer's late-stage pipeline is relatively weak, and the move to acquire Hospira will help insulate its top-line from the impact of patent expirations.

Ever since its failed acquisition talks worth $118 billion with British-drug major AstraZeneca (AZ) in 2014, industry analysts speculated a wide range of possibilities for the pharma giant's next acquisition this New Year. The new announcement from Pfizer has arrived just in time.

Pfizer was fairly subdued since the AstraZeneca deal collapse last year. "Whether this is indicative of the fact it is biding its time to repeat the attempt to secure AstraZeneca's assets, or rethink its corporate strategy, remains to be seen. The financial benefits of an AstraZeneca deal have been impacted by changes to the US tax laws regarding repatriation of overseas earnings, and the company might therefore look closer to home as far as external investment opportunity goes," predicted analyst Mr Joshua Owide in January 2015, who is GlobalData's director of healthcare industry dynamics.

Hospira is an established biosimilars developer, most notably in Europe, where it already markets three biosimilars - Retacrit (erythropoietin zeta), Nivestim (filgrastim), and Inflectra (infliximab), which was the first biosimilar monoclonal antibody (mAb) to be approved in Europe.

 

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