is in talks to acquire biotech Seagen Inc.
according to people familiar with the matter, the latest potential deal for a big drug company aimed at adding a promising class of targeted cancer therapies.
The talks are at an early stage and there is no guarantee there will be a deal, the people said. A number of hurdles would need to be overcome, including the potential for a stringent antitrust review of any proposal. If there is a deal, it would be big: Seagen has a market value of some $30 billion and would be expected to command a premium over that.
Seagen was in advanced talks last year to be acquired by Merck & Co.
in a deal that would have been worth $40 billion or more, The Wall Street Journal reported at the time, but the two sides failed to reach agreement. Pfizer at the time was also looking at Seagen, people familiar with the matter have said.
After talks with Merck fell apart last year, Seagen named David Epstein, a former Novartis AG
executive who more recently was a partner at venture firm Flagship Pioneering, as chief executive.
A deal would help Pfizer, one of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies with $100 billion in sales last year, add to its lineup of cancer treatments a class of agents that have shown promise working with so-called immunotherapies against some of the most prevalent tumors.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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