Pfizer on Wednesday announced that it acquired a small rare-disease drug firm, FoldRx, for an undisclosed sum of money.
Pfizer spokeswoman Gwen Fischer told Pharm Exec that the deal came together in a matter of weeks, and that FoldRx will be fully incorporated into Pfizer’s research division. All of FoldRx’s employees are expected to become Pfizer employees when the deal is completed.
FoldRx made its name—literally—by discovering compounds that treat diseases related to protein misfolding, using a proprietary yeast-based target discovery platform. Its pipeline leader is tafamidis meglumine, a treatment for TTR amyloid polyneuropathy, which is a genetic neurodegenerative disease.
“Over the past five years the FoldRx team has successfully developed tafamidis from the bench stage to MAA submission,” stated Richard Labaudiniere, president and CEO of FoldRx, in a release. “Pfizer’s strong clinical and regulatory resources, global marketing reach, and commitment to the treatment of rare diseases will significantly enhance the ability to pursue the goal of efficiently bringing tafamidis to all patients affected by this devastating neurodegenerative disease.”
According to Pfizer, the deal is a reflection of the company’s new business unit structure. The original intent of the business unit was to target specialized expertise in specific research areas.
“This particular transaction will add another important component to the specialty care business unit and investigation medicines for rare and orphan diseases,” Fischer said. “The company also compliments our neurosciences disease area, which is currently a part of Pfizer’s specialty care.”
Earlier this year, Pfizer created an orphan and genetic disease research unit charged with discovering diseases affecting fewer than 200,000 patients in the United States and fewer than 10,000 patients in the European Union.
Pfizer has been upfront with the general public in stating that one of the key ways it will drive growth in the next few years will be through strategic business development, focusing on small to mid-size business deals such as the acquisition of FoldRX.