Pfizer has acquired all the outstanding shares of the common stock of biopharmaceutical firm Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT) in a deal worth nearly $5.4bn.

The total enterprise value comprised debt and the net of cash acquired.

With the latest acquisition, GBT became a wholly-owned Pfizer subsidiary. 

GBT discovers and develops life-changing therapies for ailments with an initial focus on sickle cell disease (SCD). 

The acquisition boosts Pfizer’s commitment to SCD, expanding its three-decade legacy in the rare haematology sector.

Through the takeover, Pfizer will gain access to the portfolio and pipeline of GBT, which could possibly address the complete spectrum of vital needs for SCD patients. 

GBT developed Oxbryta (voxelotor), an oral therapy that acts on SCD’s root cause. 

Oxbryta tablets received accelerated approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in November 2019 to treat SCD in adults and children aged 12 years and above. 

The indication was expanded for use in patients aged four years and above in December last year.

Additionally, GBT’s pipeline of preclinical and clinical investigational assets for SCD includes GBT021601 (GBT601) and inclaclumab.

GBT021601 is an inhibitor of sickle haemoglobin (HbS) polymerisation while inclacumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody acting on P-selectin.

The FDA has granted Orphan Drug and Rare Pediatric Disease designations for these two assets.

Pfizer executive vice-president and chief business innovation officer Aamir Malik said: “With Global Blood Therapeutics’ talent, portfolio, and pipeline now part of Pfizer, we look forward to accelerating innovation and expeditiously bringing multiple potential best-in-class treatments to people living with sickle cell disease. 

“In line with our value of equity, Pfizer is committed to addressing the underserved needs of the sickle cell disease community.”

The latest development comes after the company acquired Biohaven Pharmaceutical in a deal worth nearly $11.6bn in cash.