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Pfizer to acquire Park City pharmaceutical company for $6.7 billion

A man walks by Pfizer headquarters, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021 in New York. Pfizer announced Monday it plans to acquire Utah-based Arena Pharmaceuticals for $6.7 billion.
Mark Lennihan, Associated Press

Pfizer announced on Monday that it plans to acquire Utah-based Arena Pharmaceuticals for $6.7 billion.

Arena, based in Park City, is a clinical stage company that develops immunotherapies to treat inflammatory diseases.

Mike Gladstone, global president and general manager of Pfizer Inflammation and Immunology, said that the acquisition will complement the capabilities and expertise of both companies.

"Utilizing Pfizer's leading research and global development capabilities, we plan to accelerate the clinical development of etrasimod for patients with immuno-inflammatory diseases," he said.

A press release issued by both companies states that the $6.7 billion deal includes paying $100 for each of Arena's outstanding shares, as well as plans to pay for the acquisition in cash.

Arena's share price increased 80% between Friday, when it was $49.94, and Monday morning, when it was over $91. Through Tuesday, the price has remained between $89 and $92.

The Silicon Slopes Newsroom said that there are potentially 3.75 million potential patents for Pfizer/Arena if the potential therapies get clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, leading to a large financial benefit to Pfizer's Inflammation and Immunology practice.

The companies' statement said that Arena has "diverse and promising development-stage therapeutic candidates in gastroenterology, dermatology, and cardiology."

They have two phase 3 studies for ulcerative colitis, a phase 2 trial of three programs for Crohn's disease and other issues, and three other studies that will take over 10 years, but are more than halfway through their development.

"Pfizer's capabilities will accelerate our mission to deliver our important medicines to patients. We believe this transaction represents the best next step for both patients and shareholders," Arena President and CEO Amit D. Munshi said.

The acquisition is expected to close during the first half of 2022.