Pfizer Invests $6.7 Billion in Medical Cannabis Market
To everyone’s great surprise, there’s a new, unusual player on the medicinal marijuana market. Namely, the medical corporation we’ve all heard about this past year — Pfizer!
Indeed, this pharmaceutical and biotech giant acquired a relative newbie on the cannabis market — Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. — for a mind-blowing, all-cash transaction of $6.7 billion.
According to Forbes, what made Pfizer disburse the hefty $100 per share is the promise of new, cannabis-based medicine for the treatment of bowel disease.
In essence, Arena Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage biotech company that researches innovative ways to treat immune-inflammatory diseases. And some of these treatments include cannabinoids.
One of the “stars” of their developmental program is Olorinab (APD371) — a cannabinoid agonist with the potential to treat inflammatory stomach and intestine diseases.
Another one of their experimental drugs, Etrasimod, lowers lymphocytes levels during the inflammation process. The developmental program for Etrasimod includes studies for treating diseases like ulcerative colitis (UC), Crohn’s Disease, and eosinophilic esophagitis.
Other conditions that are targeted by Arena include alopecia areata and atopic dermatitis.
What’s more, Pfizer officials state that the acquisition of Arena makes perfect sense since the two companies share the same goal — namely, to fight immune-inflammatory diseases with more effective, side-effect-free options.
Even if this weren’t the case, the cannabis market is so popular that even the Japanese government is investing in cannabis stocks in the US.
So, will Pfizer’s expertise coupled with Arena Pharmaceuticals’ innovative molecules be able to give alternative treatment for millions of patients? Whatever the case, this acquisition has already skyrocketed the ever-increasing global cannabis market that’s expected to reach $100 billion by the year 2026.