HomeMost PopularInvesting Key Moves in Pharma: MRK to...

Key Moves in Pharma: MRK to Buy Harpoon, JNJ to Acquire Ambrx Biopharma & More Pharma Stock Roundup: Merck’s Acquisition of Harpoon and JNJ’s Purchase of Ambrx

Actionable Trade Ideas

always free

This week, both Merck MRK and J&J JNJ announced plans to acquire cancer biotechs making oncology therapies with novel mechanisms of action. AbbVie ABBV announced positive data from a mid-stage study on a skin disease candidate. Pfizer PFE provided some regulatory updates.

Recap of Key Developments

J&J to Acquire Ambrx Biopharma: J&J announced a definite deal to acquire Ambrx Biopharma for approximately $2.0 billion. The acquisition is intended to fortify J&J’s oncology pipeline with the addition of ARX517, a prostate-specific membrane antigen targeting antibody drug conjugate (ADC) that is being developed for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).

Merck to Purchase Harpoon Therapeutics: Merk announced the acquisition of Harpoon Therapeutics for $680 million. This move is set to strengthen Merck’s oncology pipeline with HPN328, a T cell engager being evaluated in certain patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and other neuroendocrine tumor types.

FDA Grants Priority Review Status to Pfizer’s Tivdak sBLA: Pfizer revealed that the FDA has accepted and granted priority review status to a supplemental biologics license application (sBLA) for Tivdak, with the intent of converting the accelerated approval to a full approval.

Pfizer also announced the European Commission’s approval of a combination of its cancer drugs, Talzenna plus Xtandi, for treating mCRPC.

AbbVie’s Hidradenitis Suppurativa Candidate Meets Goal in Phase II: AbbVie announced positive data from a phase II study evaluating its pipeline candidate, lutikizumab (ABT-981) in adults with hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) who had previously failed anti-TNF therapy.

The NYSE ARCA Pharmaceutical Index rose 1.1% in the last five trading sessions.

Performance of Major Stocks

Here’s how the eight major stocks performed in the last five trading sessions.

In the last five trading sessions, Lilly rose the most (3.4%), while Pfizer declined the most (2.4%).

In the past six months, Lilly has risen the most (46.3%), while Pfizer has declined the most (21.2%).

(See the last pharma stock roundup here: LLY’s New Digital Pharmacy, NVO & ABBV’s Fresh R&D Deals)

What’s Next in the Pharma World?

Watch for pipeline and regulatory updates next week.

The New Gold Rush: How Lithium Batteries Will Make Millionaires

As the electric vehicle revolution expands, investors have a chance to target huge gains. Millions of lithium batteries are being made & demand is expected to increase 889%.

Download the brand-new FREE report revealing 5 EV battery stocks set to soar.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) : Free Stock Analysis Report

AbbVie Inc. (ABBV) : Free Stock Analysis Report

To read this article on Zacks.com click here.

Zacks Investment Research

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Swing Trading Ideas and Market Commentary

Need some new swing ideas? Get free weekly swing ideas and market commentary from Jonathan Bernstein here: Swing Trading.

Explore More

Weekly In-Depth Market Analysis and Actionable Trade Ideas

Get institutional-level analysis and trade ideas to take your trading to the next level, sign up for free and become apart of the community.