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Pfizer buys drugmaker Arena for $6.7 billion to address 'unmet needs'

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a tweet that the Arena acquisition allows the company to address "unmet needs" for varying diseases.&nbsp;File Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/6eeff592152d0896553603e2561d973b/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a tweet that the Arena acquisition allows the company to address "unmet needs" for varying diseases. File Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Pharma giant Pfizer announced on Monday that it's buying Arena Pharmaceuticals, a drug company that specializes in inflammation and immunology, for almost $7 billion.

Pfizer said it will finance the deal, worth $6.7 billion, with cash on hand. It will pay $100 per share of Arena stock and expects the deal to close early next year.

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Officials said the boards of both companies have already approved the acquisition.

Arena is a clinical-stage company that's developing therapies for several immuno-inflammatory diseases and gastroenterology, dermatology and cardiology conditions.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a tweet that the Arena acquisition allows the company to address "unmet needs" for varying diseases.

Pfizer has said it expects to generate about $36 billion this year from sales of its coronavirus vaccine. File Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI

One of Arena's newest treatments, Etrasimod, is used to treat ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Pfizer has also been developing a treatment for ulcerative colitis, which affects nearly 3 million people in the United States.

The acquisition comes after Pfizer bought immunology company Trillium Therapeutics last month for $2.2 billion.

For much of the past year, Pfizer has been working with BioNTech on their COVID19 vaccines. A British study said Monday that Pfizer's vaccine appears to be less effective in producing antibodies when facing the Omicron coronavirus variant.

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Pfizer has said it expects to generate about $36 billion this year from sales of the vaccine.

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