On Friday, Motley Fool Inside Value pick Pfizer
Pfizer and Coley have been partners since 2005, after Pfizer paid $50 million in up-front cash for rights to a TLR cancer-fighting compound. Earlier in the year, the drugmakers hit a setback with the drug, after a data monitoring board shut down a phase 3 lung cancer study because of a lack of efficacy. Other phase 2 studies with the compound, memorably named PF-3512676, remain ongoing.
Coley has been one of the leaders on the bumpy road toward developing new TLR compounds. Several drugmakers have focused on this class of therapies, with mixed clinical trial results to date.
Coley has focused its TLR research on drugs targeting cancer and asthma, and on improving vaccines. Other drugmakers, such as Dynavax Technologies
This deal for Coley will consume only a fraction of the $27 billion in cash and investments on Pfizer's balance sheet. With $9.6 billion of operating cash flow in the first nine months of the year, this deal won't have any material effect on Pfizer's ability to make any of the other, potentially much larger deals the company's reportedly considering.
Getting Coley won't do anything to solve Pfizer's near-term revenue issues, as patents for many of its top drugs expire. Coley's latest-stage asset is a vaccine adjuvant in phase 3 testing, but it's already partnered with GlaxoSmithKline
Other drugmakers have turned similarly small acquisitions into lucrative payoffs; witness Johnson and Johnson's