By Estel Grace Masangkay
Pfizer announced that it has signed into a definitive agreement to acquire two of Baxter’s marketed vaccines for $636 million. Pfizer will also acquire part of the vaccines’ production facilities in Orth, Austria.
Baxter’s commercial vaccines business is comprised of the two vaccines NeisVac-C and FSME-IMMUN/TicoVac. NeisVac-C vaccine protects against meningitis induced by group C meningococcal meningitis (MenC), which can be fatal in about 10 to 15 percent of affected patients. TicoVac protects against brain infection caused by tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). The TBE virus is responsible for thousands of cases of neuroinvasive illnesses in Asia and Europe. TicoVac is currently approved in 30 countries and has been sold for more than 30 years.
Susan Silbermann, Pfizer Vaccines President, said that vaccines continue to be an important factor for the benefit of public health around the world. “They have significantly reduced the threat of widespread and often fatal diseases and every day people of all ages benefit from safe and effective vaccines… Through this acquisition, we will add two high-quality and life-saving vaccines that bring scale and depth to our portfolio.”
Earlier this July the company announced that it will also acquire InnoPharma along with its prolific portfolio of 10 approved products and 19 pending approvals with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Dr. Ludwig Hantson, president of Baxter BioScience, said that the move helps Baxter gear up into becoming a separate and independent biopharmaceutical firm. “We are redirecting resources and investing in our robust pipeline centered on core areas of expertise - hematology and immunology - and through technology platforms like gene therapy and biosimilars. We are confident that Pfizer, with its recognized global leadership in vaccines, will provide the dedicated, ongoing investments necessary to support and advance the availability of these important vaccines.”
Baxter announced earlier this month its acquisition of AesRx, a private firm focused on orphan drug targets, together with its investigational drug Aes-103 for the treatment of sickle cell disease (SCD).