The acquisition is expected to benefit Pfizer with Trillium’s next-generation, investigational immuno-therapeutics for haematological malignancies


Pfizer to acquire Trillium Therapeutics. (Credit: Coolcaesar/Wikipedia.)

Pfizer has agreed to acquire Canada-based clinical-stage immuno-oncology company Trillium Therapeutics for an implied equity value of $2.26bn in cash.

Under the agreement, Pfizer will acquire all outstanding shares of Trillium, which it does not already own, at $18.50 per share.

The transaction price of $18.50 represents a 118% premium to the 60-day weighted average share price for Trillium.

Trillium has a portfolio of biologics that are designed to strengthen the patients’ innate immune system to detect and destroy cancer cells.

Its lead molecules TTI-622 and TTI-621 are designed to block the signal-regulatory protein α (SIRPα)–CD47 axis, an important immune checkpoint in haematological malignancies.

Haematological malignancies are cancers that affect the blood, bone marrow, and lymph nodes and include several types of leukaemia, multiple myeloma and lymphoma.

Both TTI-622 and TTI-621 are currently in Phase 1b/2 development across several indications with a focus on haematological malignancies.

Pfizer Oncology global president and general manager Andy Schmeltz said: “Today’s announcement reinforces our commitment to pursue scientific breakthroughs with the addition of potentially best-in-class molecules to our innovative pipeline.

“The proposed acquisition of Trillium builds on our strong track record of leadership in Oncology, enhancing our haematology portfolio as we strive to improve outcomes for people living with blood cancers around the globe.

“Our deep experience in understanding the science of blood cancers, along with the diverse knowledge base we have developed across our growing haematology portfolio of eight approved and investigational therapies, provide us with a foundation to advance these important potential medicines to patients who need them.”

In September last year, Pfizer has injected $25m in Trillium as part of its Pfizer Breakthrough Growth Initiative (PBGI), which aims to provide funding for scientific research.

Also, its oncology research and development group senior vice president and chief scientific officer Jeff Settleman was appointed as a member of the Trillium scientific advisory board.

The proposed acquisition is planned to be completed by way of a statutory plan of arrangement under the Business Corporations Act of British Columbia.

The closing of the transaction is subject to court and regulatory approval, along with certain customary closing conditions including approval of Trillium shareholders.

Trillium CEO Jan Skvarka said: “We’re delighted to announce Pfizer’s proposed acquisition of Trillium. Today’s announcement reflects Trillium’s potentially best in class SIRPα–CD47 status and contribution to immuno-oncology.

“Trillium has the only known SIRPα–CD47 targeting molecules with clinically meaningful monotherapy responses as well as a strong basis for combination therapies, which is supported by preclinical evidence with a diverse set of therapeutic agents.

“With Pfizer’s global reach and deep capabilities, we believe our programs will advance more quickly to the patients we’ve always aspired to serve. We believe this is a good outcome for patients and our shareholders.”