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AbbVie acquiring Cerevel Therapeutics in $8.7B deal

AbbVie (ABBV) announced it is acquiring neuroscience drug developer Cerevel Therapeutics (CERE) for $45.00 per share, putting the deal value at about $8.7 billion. AbbVie Chairman and CEO Richard Gonzalez said in the announcement that the combined portfolios will present a "significant growth opportunity well into the next decade." The deal comes about a week after AbbVie announced it was acquiring cancer drugmaker ImmunoGen (IMGN) for just over $10 billion. Yahoo Finance Healthcare Reporter Anjalee Khemlani breaks down the deal.

For more expert insight and the latest market action, click here to watch this full episode of Yahoo Finance Live.

Video transcript

- We're also tracking AbbVie out here this morning. AbbVie acquiring Cerevel Therapeutics today in a deal worth roughly $8.7 billion. This is the second large deal for the pharmaceutical company in just the past week, after it agreed to buy ImmunoGen.

This is a cancer drug developer. And these deals come after biosimilars, one of AbbVie's most lucrative anti-arthritis drugs, Humira, hit the market this year. For more on this, we've got Yahoo Finance's reporter Anjalee Khemlani. My God, the pronunciations, Anjalee, they just come at you fast and furious when you're talking about these companies.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Well, you did a good job there. And you haven't had as much training as I have. It is Humira, but that is the drug, of course, that has set the domino effect of-- or an example, rather, of the domino effect that we've seen with all these companies that are facing patent cliffs of big pharma, companies looking out there to see what kind of M&A deals they can look at.

That will, certainly, grab the attention of the FTC. We did hear from AbbVie's executives just now on a call because of this deal, this $8.7 billion acquisition of Cerevel. Additionally, the $10 billion with ImmunoGen, that's really something that the company believes is all it needs to kind of boost the pipeline.

For right now, executives said they're not looking for any larger late stage deals for right now. But they will continue looking for smaller earlier stage deals. Pretty confident that this is not going to raise eyebrows at the FTC with no major overlaps.

Again, all of this coming from the company executives on a call this morning. So what that really sets up is a stronger pipeline for AbbVie as they've had to deal with the pressure from Humira. We have seen, of course, that they've had to trim their outlook.

Humira hasn't necessarily taken the big hit that they assumed it would, changing from about 37% down from 2022 to, instead, 35% down in sales from 2022. So far, this year netting $11 billion through the third quarter.

We'll see what the fourth quarter holds. But as you can see, it's only about half. They have had sort of favorable positioning with insurers. So it hasn't, over time, necessarily done much to impact.

And they've constantly beat Wall Street at Smith's on that product, specifically. So AbbVie's story is kind of what we're seeing large scale in pharma right now with these large companies looking for deals that can bolster their pipeline as the peak of what will be a patent cliff in 2029 comes to a front.

- Important stuff there, especially when you think about the pipeline and the patents. We know that's key for that sector. Anjalee Khemlani, thanks so much.