Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) has announced that it has acquired a 15% equity interest in Vivet and secured an exclusive option to acquire all outstanding shares. Pfizer is looking to collaborate with Vivet on the development of VTX-801, Vivet’s proprietary treatment for Wilson disease.
Wilson disease is a devastating, rare, chronic, and potentially life-threatening liver disorder of impaired copper transport that causes serious copper poisoning. This disease may result in various combinations and severity of hepatic (fibrosis and cirrhosis), neurologic and psychiatric symptoms, which can be fatal, that can only be cured by liver transplantation. Existing therapies for Wilson disease have sub-optimal efficacy or significant side effects for many patients.
Under the terms of the transaction, Pfizer paid approximately €45 million ($51 million) upon signing and may pay up to €560 million ($635.8 million) inclusive of the option exercise payment and subject to certain clinical, regulatory, and commercial milestones.
At any point, Pfizer can exercise its option to acquire 100% of Vivet following the company’s delivery of certain data from the Phase 1/2 clinical trial for VTX-801.
Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer’s chief scientific officer and president or Worldwide Research, Development and Medical, commented:
Pfizer strives to provide meaningful enhancements to the lives of patients with rare diseases. Our partnership with Vivet offers an important expansion of Pfizer’s commitment to collaborate with the scientific community and to accelerate our leading AAV-directed gene therapy portfolio.
Shares of Pfizer were last seen down about 1% at $41.94 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $34.32 to $46.47. The consensus price target is $44.14.