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Opinion
Lisa Jarvis

Pfizer’s Biohaven Deal May Open an Era of Smarter Pharma Acquisitions

The drug giant’s purchase comes as good news for investors desperate for biotech M&A. It’s also a sensible addition to Pfizer’s portfolio.

A company with lots of Covid cash on hand.

A company with lots of Covid cash on hand.

Photographer: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

With biotech stocks in the dumps, investors have been hoping for deals to revive the sector, but lately merger-and-acquisition activity has been anemic. Finally on Tuesday, Pfizer announced it will buy Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd., a nine-year-old company that makes treatments for migraines, for $11.6 billion.

The deal, which gives Pfizer an oral drug already on the market and a nasal spray for migraines that is nearing commercialization, puts some of its gargantuan store of Covid-19 cash to good use. Perhaps it also will be a harbinger of more biotech dealmaking ahead.