Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd. (NYSE: BHVN) have entered into a definitive agreement under which Pfizer will acquire Biohaven, the maker of NURTEC® ODT, an innovative dual-acting migraine therapy approved for both acute treatment and episodic prevention of migraine in adults.
Under the terms of the agreement, Pfizer will acquire all outstanding shares of Biohaven not already owned by Pfizer for $148.50 per share in cash. Biohaven common shareholders, including Pfizer, will also receive 0.5 of a share of New Biohaven, a new publicly traded company that will retain Biohaven’s non-CGRP development stage pipeline compounds, per Biohaven common share. The boards of directors of both Biohaven and Pfizer have unanimously approved the transaction. Pfizer will pay transaction consideration totaling approximately $11.6 billion in cash. Pfizer will also make payments at closing to settle Biohaven’s third party debt and for the redemption of all outstanding shares of Biohaven’s redeemable preferred stock. The $148.50 cash consideration represents a premium of approximately 33% to Biohaven’s volume weighted average selling price of $111.70 over the three months prior to the announcement of the transaction.
The proposed transaction includes the acquisition of Biohaven’s calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) programs including:
- Approved in the United States (U.S.) under the trade name, NURTEC® ODT, for both the acute treatment of migraine and preventive treatment of episodic migraine
- Approved in the European Union under the trade name, VYDURA®, for both acute treatment of migraine and prophylaxis of episodic migraine
- On track for a 2Q2022 acceptance (based on March 2022 submission) in the U.S. as an intranasal spray for the acute treatment of migraine and in development as an oral soft gel for chronic migraine prevention
- A portfolio of five pre-clinical CGRP assets
“Today’s announcement builds on our legacy of delivering breakthroughs for patients living with complex pain disorders and diseases that disproportionately impact women,” said Nick Lagunowich, Global President, Pfizer Internal Medicine. “NURTEC® ODT, which is already the #1 prescribed migraine medicine in its class in the United States, coupled with Biohaven’s CGRP pipeline, offers hope for patients suffering from migraine worldwide. We believe Pfizer is uniquely positioned to help the portfolio reach its full potential given our leading scale and capabilities, including comprehensive field force engagement with Primary Care Physicians, specialists and health systems delivering the right information at the right time.”
This agreement follows on the November 9, 2021 collaboration for the commercialization of rimegepant and zavegepant outside the United States, in connection with which Pfizer invested $350 million to acquire 2.6% of Biohaven’s common stock at $173 per share.
“We are excited to announce Pfizer’s proposed acquisition of Biohaven, recognizing the market leadership of NURTEC® ODT, our breakthrough all in one migraine therapy, and the untapped potential of our CGRP franchise,” said Vlad Coric, MD, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Biohaven. “Pfizer’s capabilities will accelerate our mission to deliver our migraine medicines to even more patients, while the new R&D company is well positioned to bring value to patients and shareholders by focusing on our innovative pipeline for neurological and other disorders. We believe this transaction represents significant future value creation for patients and our collective shareholders.”
Following the closing, New Biohaven will continue to operate under the Biohaven name. New Biohaven will be led by Vlad Coric, MD, as Chairman and CEO, and include other members of the current management team of Biohaven. Biohaven common shareholders will receive, for each Biohaven share, 0.5 of a share of New Biohaven distributed via a pro rata distribution of SEC-registered, publicly listed shares. At distribution, New Biohaven will be capitalized with $275 million of cash. New Biohaven will also have the right to receive tiered royalties from Pfizer on any annual net sales of rimegepant and zavegepant in the United States in excess of $5.25 billion.
Pfizer expects to finance the transaction with existing cash on hand.
Pfizer’s acquisition of Biohaven is subject to the completion of the New Biohaven spin-off transaction and other customary closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals and approval by Biohaven’s shareholders. The companies expect the transaction to close by early 2023.
Due to the proposed transaction, Biohaven will not hold a conference call to discuss its first quarter 2022 financial results and will issue a press release and file a quarterly report on Form 10-Q with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announcing those results on May 10, 2022.
J.P. Morgan acted as Pfizer’s financial advisor for the transaction with Ropes & Gray LLP acting as its legal advisor. Centerview Partners acted as Biohaven’s financial advisor for the transaction with Sullivan & Cromwell LLP acting as its legal advisor.
Around one billion people suffer from migraine across the globe, of which 75 percent are women. The World Health Organization classifies migraine as one of the 10 most disabling medical illnesses. There is a large unmet need for new acute and preventive treatments, as a significant portion of migraine patients are unsatisfied with current standard of care migraine treatments due to a lack of efficacy or safety or tolerability burden.
Rimegepant targets a root cause of migraine by reversibly blocking CGRP receptors, thereby inhibiting the biologic cascade that results in a migraine attack. Rimegepant was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the trade name NURTEC® ODT for the acute treatment of migraine in February 2020 and for the preventive treatment of episodic migraine in May 2021. In April 2022, the European Commission (EC) granted marketing authorization for VYDURA® (rimegepant) for both the acute treatment of migraine with or without aura, and prophylaxis of episodic migraine in adults who have at least four migraine attacks per month. NURTEC® ODT is the #1 prescribed migraine treatment in its class with a cumulative launch to date of U.S. net revenue of approximately $650 million and with more than two million prescriptions. A single dose of 75 mg NURTEC® ODT provides fast pain relief, significant pain reduction and return to normal function, and has a lasting effect of up to 48 hours in some patients. NURTEC® ODT is taken orally as needed, up to 18 doses/month to stop migraine attacks or taken every other day to help prevent migraine attacks and reduce the number of monthly migraine days. NURTEC® ODT does not have addiction potential and is not associated with medication overuse headache or rebound headache.
Zavegepant is a third generation, high affinity, selective and structurally unique, small molecule CGRP receptor antagonist from Biohaven’s NOJECTION™ Migraine Platform and the only CGRP receptor antagonist in clinical development with both intranasal and oral formulations. The efficacy and safety profile of intranasal zavegepant for the acute treatment of migraine, as compared to placebo, was shown in a randomized controlled Phase 2/3 dose-ranging trial with a total of over 1000 patients who received zavegepant. In this study, zavegepant showed statistical superiority to placebo on the coprimary endpoints of 2-hour freedom from pain and freedom from a patients’ most bothersome symptom (either nausea, photophobia or phonophobia). This was the second zavegepant pivotal clinical trial to meet these coprimary endpoints. Biohaven plans to file a new drug application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for zavegepant in the second quarter of 2022.
Biohaven is a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company with a portfolio of innovative, best-in-class therapies to improve the lives of patients with debilitating neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases, including rare disorders. Biohaven’s Neuroinnovation™ portfolio includes FDA-approved NURTEC® ODT (rimegepant) for the acute and preventive treatment of migraine (EMA-approved as Vydura® for the acute treatment of migraine with or without aura, and prophylaxis of episodic migraine in adults who have at least four migraine attacks per month) and a broad pipeline of late-stage product candidates across five distinct mechanistic platforms: CGRP receptor antagonism for the acute and preventive treatment of migraine; glutamate modulation for obsessive-compulsive disorder, and spinocerebellar ataxia; myeloperoxidase (MPO) inhibition for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Kv7 ion channel activators for focal epilepsy and neuronal hyperexcitability, and myostatin inhibition for neuromuscular diseases.
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