Analysts: Pfizer to ‘capitalize’ on experimental colitis treatment in Arena deal

Analysts are on board with Pfizer Inc.’s
plans to acquire Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc.
in a deal worth $6.7 billion and announced Monday morning. Pfizer’s stock was up 1.2% in premarket trading on Monday, while shares of Arena soared 88.3%. “We view PFE as a logical partner for ARNA as the latter continues to progress its gastroenterology, dermatology, and cardiology focused platform, which should benefit from the executional expertise of a large pharmaceutical company,” SVB Leerink analyst Joseph Schwartz told analysts in a research note. “PFE’s commercial framework can capitalize on etrasimod’s best-in-class potential,” wrote RBC Capital Markets’ Kennen MacKay. The one thing that surprised Wall Street was Pfizer’s decision to execute a deal before the upcoming readout of Phase 3 clinical trial data for Arena’s etrasimod, an experimental ulcerative colitis treatment. That data is expected early next year. Pfizer’s stock has gained 43.4% so far this year, while Arena’s shares are down 35.0%. The S&P 500
is up 25.4% year-to-date.