Don't go calling the department of children and family services quite yet; this is an orphan drug, which means it treats a small patient population. But steal is still a pretty accurate term for the price Pfizer paid for Protalix BioTherapeutics'
Pfizer will pay $60 million up front and another $55 million in regulatory milestones. Assuming no problems on the manufacturing side, an approval from the Food and Drug Administration seems likely, considering the strong phase 3 trial data. For the total cost of $115 million, Pfizer owns 60% of the drug outside of Protalix's home country of Israel.
Normally, follow-on drugs into an orphan disease would have a hard time breaking into the market; that's the allure of companies like Genzyme and BioMarin Pharmaceutical
Genzyme's mistakes, combined with Pfizer's muscle, might eventually earn Uplyso a third of the market, or around $400 million per year, of which Pfizer would be entitled to about $240 million -- twice what it's paying for the drug.
Of course, Protalix will get its cash shortly and Pfizer will have to wait a few years to be paid back for the investment, but this looks like a low-risk deal that Pfizer's long-term investors should benefit from.