Pfizer confirms it will acquire Wyeth
NEW YORK Pfizer on Monday confirmed speculation that the pharmaceutical giant would acquire Wyeth with an announcement that the two companies have entered into a definitive merger agreement.
The deal: Pfizer will acquire Wyeth in a cash-and-stock transaction currently valued at $50.19 per share, or a total of approximately $68 billion. The boards of each company have approved the combination.
“The combination of Pfizer and Wyeth provides a powerful opportunity to transform our industry,” stated Jeffrey Kindler, Pfizer chairman and CEO. “It will produce the world’s premier biopharmaceutical company, whose distinct blend of diversification, flexibility and scale positions it for success in a dynamic global healthcare environment. The new company will be an industry leader in human, animal and consumer health. With our combined biopharmaceuticals business, it will lead in primary and specialty care, as well as in small and large molecules. Its geographic presence in most of the world’s developed and developing countries will be unrivaled.”
Wyeth’s established presence in biologics — which includes Prevnar (diphtheria CRM197 protein), a pneumococcal vaccine for infants, and Enbrel (etanercept), an arthritis remedy — was cited as one of the key attractions to Pfizer in making the acquisition.
Even with a diverse stable of product offerings in growing therapeutic areas, a strong product pipeline and a premier global footprint, it is expected that no drug will account for more than 10% of the combined company’s revenue in 2012, Pfizer stated. Pfizer currently fields the leading prescription therapy worldwide, Lipitor (atorvastatin), which is expected to go off patent in 2010.
The combined company will offer customers and patients a broad range of products for every stage of life — with top-tier portfolios in such key therapeutic areas as cardiovascular, oncology, women’s health, central nervous system and infectious disease, and a diverse product portfolio that includes 17 blockbuster products with more than $1 billion each in annual revenue. Pfizer will be the second-largest specialty care provider, with products including the world’s leading biologic, Enbrel; Prevnar, the world’s largest-selling vaccine; Sutent (sunitinib malate) for cancer; Geodon (zyprasidone hydrochloride) for schizophrenia; and Zyvox (linezolid) for infection. The transaction also builds upon Pfizer’s position as a global leader in animal health, with strong product lines in attractive segments for companion animals, biologics and anti-infectives.
The combination also brings together a robust pipeline of biopharmaceutical research and development projects, including programs in diabetes, inflammation/immunology, oncology and pain, as well as significant opportunities in Wyeth’s Alzheimer’s disease pipeline, which has a number of compounds in development, including phase three biotech compound Bapineuzumab. These will be added to the exciting agents currently in early and later stage development at Pfizer for Alzheimer’s disease, illustrating the breadth and depth the new company will be able to use in targeting the diseases that most affect patients.
Under the terms of the transaction, each outstanding share of Wyeth common stock will be converted into the right to receive $33 in cash and 0.985 of a share of Pfizer common stock, subject to the terms of the merger agreement. Based on the closing price of Pfizer stock as of Jan. 23, the stock component is valued at $17.19 per share.
PureSport boosts presence with distribution, endorsement deals
AUSTIN, Texas PureSport recently signed a national distribution deal with Sports Authority, a premier sporting goods chain, as well as online outlets including SwimOutlet.com and NutritionExpress.com. In addition, the company recently announced that it has expanded its team of athlete spokespersons to include the Minnesota Viking’s Bernard Barrian; Ryan Powell, the top-ranked lacrosse player; soccer star Kenny Cooper, Jr.; and triathletes Brandon Marsh and Amy Marsh.
Michael Phelps, who holds the world’s record with most gold metals earned at one Olympic event and has an ownership stake in the company, was one of PureSport’s first celebrity athlete spokesmen. Other PureSport athletes include Olympians Brendan Hansen, Ian Crocker, Aaron Peirsol and Nastia Liukin, all of whom, like Phelps, have been training with PureSport for up to two years.
PureSport has earned registration with Informed-Sports, a leading, independent supplement testing program that only registers products that they have rigorously tested and proven to be completely free of substances prohibited by the WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency.
“PureSport is as clean a drink as they come, which is why athletes, trainers and coaches love it so much,” stated Michael Humphrey, chief executive officer of PureSport.
Vitamin D’s positive media attention boosting sales of vitamin D products
WASHINGTON The Dietary Supplement Information Bureau, a division of the Natural Products Foundation, last week pointed to the plethora of positive news surrounding vitamin D as one of the more significant drivers in sales of vitamin D products.
“As we mentioned last year, the flood of positive literature surrounding vitamin D research has placed the supplement’s popularity in a rapid ascendancy, and with good cause,” the association stated.
The latest news about vitamin D research concerns vitamin D levels and young type 1 diabetics. Boston researchers have found that children and teenagers with type 1 diabetes have a very high rate of vitamin D deficiency; approximately 75% lack sufficient vitamin D levels. As a result, youths with type 1 diabetes are at greater risk for bone issues later in life, especially bone fractures. “To our surprise, we found extremely high rates of vitamin D inadequacy,” stated senior researcher Dr. Lori Laffel of Harvard Medical School in Boston. “We didn’t expect to find that only 24% of the study population would have adequate levels.”
Research suggests that lowered levels of vitamin D may be inherent in type 1 diabetes, putting individuals at greater risk for bone-density loss. Elevated blood sugar, lowered calcium levels, and symptomatic inflammation are all thought to potentially contribute to the problem. As these are inherent difficulties of the condition, and because vitamin D is not naturally contained in most foods, the American Academy of Pediatrics and researchers have recommended that children and teenagers should take 400 International Units of vitamin D supplements each day, DSIB noted.