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Biotech Stocks Surge on AbbVie’s Acquisition of Cancer Company ImmunoGen for $10 billion

Biotech Stocks

Biotech stocks experienced a surge on Thursday following AbbVie’s announcement of its $10.1 billion acquisition of cancer drug developer ImmunoGen. This move resulted in a nearly 83% increase in ImmunoGen’s stock, while AbbVie’s stock rose by almost 3%. ImmunoGen specializes in the development of cancer drugs known as antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), designed to selectively eliminate cancer cells while preserving healthy ones. The news prompted a rally in shares of other biotech firms involved in ADC development, with Sutro Biopharma closing nearly 13% higher, Mersana Therapeutics up more than 3%, and ADC Therapeutics gaining 6%.

The positive trend extended to biotech-focused exchange-traded funds (ETFs), with the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF, which concentrates on small and midsize biotech companies, closing up 2%, and the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index finishing more than 1% higher.

AbbVie’s acquisition of ImmunoGen involves a cash payment of $31.26 per share, representing approximately a 95% premium over Wednesday’s closing price. The deal is anticipated to bolster AbbVie’s oncology pipeline, with expectations of finalizing the acquisition in mid-2024.

Guggenheim analyst Michael Schmidt highlighted the deal’s pricing as indicative of the growing interest among major biopharmaceutical companies seeking to expand their presence in the ADC sector. He characterized ADCs as an “attractive area” within the pharmaceutical industry. Notably, Pfizer previously agreed to acquire Seagen, a prominent ADC pioneer, for $43 billion earlier in the year. Additionally, Merck and Daiichi Sankyo entered into a collaboration to jointly develop and commercialize three potential ADCs, amounting to a deal worth up to $22 billion.

Overall, the acquisition and its positive impact on related stocks underscore the industry’s focus on advancing cancer treatment technologies, particularly ADCs, reflecting a broader trend of consolidation and strategic partnerships within the biotech sector.

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