Pfizer unveils $5.2bn takeover of rival Anacor

Viagra-maker Pfizer is to acquire US-based Anacor, which specialises in inflammatory skin disorders, in a deal worth $5.2 billion (£3.6bn).

Pfizer has agreed a deal for rival Anacor. Picture: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

The move comes just weeks after the pharmagiant pulled out of a blockbuster deal to buy Botox producer Allergan in what would have been the world’s biggest takeover deal in the healthcare sector.

Pfizer expects the Anacor deal to boost its earnings per share by 2018, but doesn’t expect the acquisition to impact its 2016 financial outlook. Anacor’s new treatment for a condition known as atopic dermatitis is currently under review by regulators and, if approved, Pfizer said it believes annual sales could exceed $2bn.

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Albert Bourla, group president of Pfizer’s pharma and global vaccines division, said that the buyout is attractive because it provides an opportunity to address a significant unmet medical need for a large patient population. The boards of both companies have approved the deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter.

Anacor’s chairman and chief executive Paul Berns said he believed the deal will deliver significant value to shareholders.

“We have a deep respect for Pfizer, and it is clear that they share our commitment to addressing the significant unmet medical needs in inflammatory disease. We are proud of the innovative company that our team has built and are confident that Pfizer will help accelerate Anacor’s important mission given the strength of its global platform and resources.”

Atopic dermatitis is a common inflammatory skin disorder which affects an estimated 18 to 25 million people in the US alone.