Pfizer Catches NextWave

Pfizer has acquired NextWave Pharmaceuticals, whose main asset is the recently approved Quillivant for ADHD, which is a liquid formulation of CR methylphenidate. Pfizer had optioned the company for $20 million a few months ago, another $255 million is payable with the exercise of the option. Some news reports cite buyout totals of $680 million or $700 million, but those estimates assume payment of $425 million in milestones. With considerable uncertainty as to the competitiveness of a branded liquid form in an environment where payors can prioritize Watson’s generic ‘Concerta’, we would not assume anything near full realization of these potential milestones. This deal was driven by Pfizer’s ‘Existing Products’ division, which by definition is not supposed to be creative. But this is particularly uninspiring.

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