Pfizer hopes its $195M acquisition will expand heart drug portfolio

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Pfizer has entered into an agreement to acquire Encysive Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company, which produces a drug for the treatment of high blood pressure in the heart that has been unable to enter the U.S. market three times.

Under the terms of the agreement, Pfizer will make a cash tender offer for all issued and outstanding shares of the Houston-based Encysive, representing an equity value of approximately $195 million, the New York City-based company.

Pfizer will acquire the rights to Thelin (sitaxsentan sodium), an oral, once-daily endothelin, a receptor antagonist for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), as well as Encysive’s other pipeline candidates.

Thelin has been approved for marketing in the European Union, Australia and Canada. In the United States, Thelin has been the subject of three approvable letters from the FDA.

Pfizer said it plans to conduct a pivotal Phase III trial to support registration in the U.S., in order to eventually achieve FDA approval.

Following completion of the tender offer, a subsidiary of Pfizer will merge with Encysive, the company said. Upon the acquisition of Encysive, Pfizer said it will assume Encysive's change of control repurchase obligations under its 2.5% convertible senior notes.

The board of directors of Encysive has unanimously approved the merger agreement and unanimously recommends that Encysive stockholders accept the tender offer and tender its shares.

“The acquisition of Encysive will add growing, near-term revenue from the European market and increase our already strong presence in the cardio-respiratory arena with a product that complements Revatio, a PAH treatment that was discovered and developed by Pfizer researchers,” said Ian Read, president of Pfizer’s worldwide pharmaceutical operations.