Pfizer Backs Out Of Bidding For Cancer Drug Maker Onyx As Shares Soar Amid Sale Process

By @AlexCKaufman on
Big Pharma companies like Pfizer are now looking over their shoulder at startups like Berg who are using new techniques like artificial intelligence to develop drugs faster and cheaper. Reuters/Brendan McDermid

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) opted out of bidding for Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ONXX) this week, placing Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) in the lead to buy the cancer-drug maker, Reuters reported on Friday.

Shares in Onyx, valued at about $9.24 billion on Friday, fell nearly 2 percent on Friday after plummeting more than 3.3 percent on Thursday, when Reuters cited two unnamed sources saying Pfizer was no longer a suitor for the San Francisco company.

Onyx announced its sale process on June 30 after it rejected Amgen’s $120-per-share bid.

Pfizer appears to have backed out of the auction as Onyx’s share price has skyrocketed.

Two days before the sale was announced, shares in the California company closed at $86.82. The price has since surged more than 50 percent.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY) and AstraZeneca PLC (NYSE:AZN) also withdrew, Reuters reported.

Onyx sells Nexavar, a liver and kidney cancer treatment, and Stivarga, a new drug for colon cancer.

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