Pfizer Inc has said it would buy Hospira Inc for about $15 billion to gain access to biosimilars, copies of biotech drugs made from living cells.
Pfizer’s offer of $90 per share represents a premium of 39 per cent to Hospira stock’s close on Wednesday.
Hospira was trading at $88 before the bell, while Pfizer was up 1.7 per cent. Drugmakers are racing to develop biosimilars, which typically cost 20-30 per cent less than the original, as big-ticket patents on biotech drugs expire and cash-strapped healthcare systems look to cut costs.
Hospira is seeking approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to market a copy of Johnson & Johnson’s blockbuster arthritis treatment Remicade.
The total enterprise value of the deal is about $17 billion, the companies said.