Canadian Manufacturing

Pfizer to buy Canadian cancer drug developer Trillium in $2.3B deal

Trillium’s portfolio includes biologics that are designed to enhance the ability of patients’ innate immune system to detect and destroy cancer cells.

August 24, 2021  by CM Staff

Drug manufacturer Pfizer Inc. has announced its plan to acquire Canadian drug developer Trillium Therapeutics Inc. in a $2.26 billion deal to strengthen its capabilities in blood cancer therapies.

Pfizer, which acquired a $25 million stake in Mississauga, Ont.-based Trillium last year, will buy the remaining outstanding shares for $18.50 apiece, representing a 203.8% premium on the stock’s last closing price.

Trillium’s portfolio includes biologics that are designed to enhance the ability of patients’ innate immune system to detect and destroy cancer cells. Its two lead molecules, TTI-622 and TTI-621, block the signal-regulatory protein α (SIRPα)–CD47 axis, which is emerging as a key immune checkpoint in hematological malignancies. “TTI-622 and TTI-621 are novel, potentially best-in-class SIRPα-Fc fusion proteins that are currently in Phase 1b/2 development across several indications, with a focus on hematological malignancies,” Trillium officials said in a statement.

Hematological malignancies are cancers that affect the blood, bone marrow, and lymph nodes. This classification includes various types of leukemia, multiple myeloma, and lymphoma. More than 1 million people worldwide were diagnosed with a blood cancer in 2020, Trillium said, representing almost 6% of all cancer diagnoses globally. In 2020, more than 700,000 people worldwide died from a form of blood cancer.

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“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,” said Dr. Jan Skvarka, Trillium CEO. “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.”


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