Pharmas Market with Mike Huckman

Pfizer Chomps On A Carrot

Talk about getting more bang for your buck in this bargain-minded holiday shopping season.


Pfizertoday announced it's paying what amounts to chump change (a total of $115 million over time) for the rights to a biotech drug to treat a rare disease.

And as I write this, investors are rewarding the world's biggest drug company by making its stock the biggest percentage gainer among the Dow 30.

The Israeli company, Protalix, owns the Gaucher Disease drug, which is made from carrot protein. I first blogged about it last summerwhen the FDA indicated it might give the company special permission to make the drug available to help combat a shortage. Genzyme ran into serious manufacturing problems with its very expensive Gaucher treatment, Cerezyme, so patients needed something to replace it. In an interesting coincidence, just two-and-a-half hours after Pfizer and Protalix put out their press release on the partnership deal, Genzyme issued a press release this morning announcing that Cerezyme is getting back on track.

Usually when a little company like PLX gets an infusion of cash and perceived validation of its technology by a big industry player like PFE, the stock goes up. But PLX is lower presumably because investors might have gotten their hopes up that some company was going to take out Protalix, not just partner with it. The ol' carrot and stick.

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