Pfizer in talks to buy Wyeth

January 23, 2009

Pfizer Inc., the world?s largest drug maker, has secured the financing for a reported $60 billion-plus bid for Wyeth, according to news reports.

Pfizer Inc., the world’s largest drug maker, has secured the financing for a reported $60 billion-plus bid for Wyeth, according to news reports.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the companies have been in talks for months, although the newspaper said no deal is imminent and the state of global markets could undo any plans.

By acquiring Madison, N.J.-based Wyeth, Pfizer could transform itself almost overnight from a pharmaceutical company into a diversified healthcare giant, given Wyeth's presence and revenue in biotech drugs, vaccines that include the blockbuster pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar, and consumer health products from Advil to Robitussin.

Some financial analysts said the news came at the right time. Lipitor is expected to face generic competition in November 2011, and a high-profile effort to come up with a successor drug flamed out when torcetrapib had to be axed in late-stage testing because it was believe to have triggered heart problems.

Wyeth is also in the midst of increasing competition and faces generic competition to its top seller, antidepressant Effexor. Wyeth had three drugs approved last year - the antidepressant Pristiq, Relistor for constipation caused by narcotic painkillers, and the hemophilia drug Xyntha.