Pfizer to acquire Trillium in $2.3bn deal

Pfizer bolsters its oncology capabilities through the acquisition of Trillium, which it says will add investigational immuno-therapeutics for cancer.

Pfizer, which invested $25 million in Trillium Therapeutics in September 2020, will acquire all outstanding shares of the immune-oncology firm in a deal worth $2.26 billion.

“Pfizer is strengthening its individual therapeutic areas with capabilities and breakthrough medicines to enhance leadership positions in priority areas,” a spokesperson for Pfizer told BioProcess Insider.

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“The acquisition of Trillium Therapeutics strengthens Pfizer’s leadership in oncology with the addition of next-generation, investigational immuno-therapeutics for hematological malignancies.”

According to Pfizer, the acquisition has the potential to expand its pipeline and drive growth in 2026 through to 2030 and beyond.

Trillium has two lead molecules, TTI-622 and TTI-621, which are currently in Phase I/II across several indications. Both candidates block the signal-regulatory protein α (SIRPα)–CD47 axis, which the firm claim is a key immune checkpoint in hematological malignancies.

“Pfizer plans on investing significantly behind the SIRPα–CD47 programs to realize their full potential,” the spokesperson said.

She continued: “The company will work to accelerate the development of SIRPα fusion proteins as a new scientific breakthrough and explore combinations within its own portfolio and with innovative next-generation medicines for hematological malignancies.”

According to Trillium at the end of 2020 the firm had 33 full-time employees. It has not been divulged how many of members of staff will be kept on by Pfizer.

“Retention of key and critical talent is very important to help secure we are best positioned to serve our customer and patient needs, while achieving a competitive cost structure. We are committed to treating all employees fairly and respectfully and keeping them informed about the transaction and resulting changes as soon as we can,” said Pfizer.

No manufacturing capabilities

Trillium does not have any manufacturing capabilities, a spokesman for the firm confirmed.

Trillium’s 2020 annual report stated the firm has “limited experience in manufacturing products for clinical or commercial purposes. We produce small quantities of our product candidates in our laboratories for internal use. We believe that sources of raw materials pertinent to our laboratory operations and for manufacturing of our products by a contract manufacturing organization, or CMO, are generally available, although we have and may continue to experience supply chain issues due to COVID-19, or other factors.”

It has not been disclosed where TTI-622 and TTI-621 will be manufactured.

“I am not able to confirm anything at this time as we’ve only just announced this deal and the compounds are still in early development,” Pfizer said.

The deal is subject to customary closing conditions.

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