Pfizer entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Trillium Therapeutics for $18.50 per share in cash, representing an equity value of nearly $2.3 billion, the companies announced Monday. The deal will bolster Pfizer's oncology pipeline with the addition of Trillium's two lead molecules, TTI-622 and TTI-621, which block the signal-regulatory protein alpha (SIRP alpha)-CD47 axis.
TTI-622 and TTI-621 are currently in Phase Ib/II development and have demonstrated activity as monotherapy in relapsed or refractory lymphoid malignancies, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, peripheral T-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma and other lymphoid malignancies. "We are encouraged by the early clinical data for TTI-622 and TTI-621," remarked Chris Boshoff, chief development officer for oncology at Pfizer, adding "the SIRP alpha-CD47 interaction defines a second key immune checkpoint for which disrupting agents are expected to become another important backbone immunotherapy."
"We plan to accelerate the clinical development of SIRPα fusion proteins…and explore combinations within our own portfolio and with innovative next-generation medicines for haematological malignancies," Boshoff said. According to Pfizer, the purchase of Trillium, which represents a premium of 204% to the latter's closing share price on August 20, will "potentially [enhance] growth in 2026-2030 and beyond."
Last year, Pfizer invested $25 million in Trillium, while Jeff Settleman, chief scientific officer of Pfizer's oncology R&D group, was named to Trillium's scientific advisory board. The funding was made as part of Pfizer's initiative unveiled last year to invest up to $500 million across a portfolio of biotechnology companies to support their clinical development programmes.
Meanwhile, Gilead Sciences bought Forty Seven for around $4.9 billion in 2020, gaining full rights to the experimental monoclonal antibody magrolimab, which targets CD47. For related analysis, see ViewPoints: Trillium looks to come from behind in CD47.
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