Pfizer Buying Serenex

Pfizer Inc. has agreed to acquire Serenex Inc., a Durham, N.C.-based oncology drug company. No financial terms were disclosed. Serenex has raised around $60 million in VC funding since 2001, from firms like Cornell Capital Partners, Pearl Street Ventures, MC Life Science Ventures, Pac-Link Bio Venture Capital, Ritchie Capital, Intersouth Partners, Lilly Ventures, Mediphase Venture Partners, Takeda Research Investment and Seaflower Ventures.



Pfizer Inc today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Serenex, Inc., a privately-held biotechnology company with a Phase I clinical candidate and an extensive compound library that targets Heat Shock Protein 90 (Hsp90), an exciting target in the fight against cancer.


As per the agreement, Pfizer will acquire the rights to SNX-5422, an oral Hsp90 inhibitor currently in Phase I trials for the potential treatment of solid tumors and hematological malignancies. Pfizer will also acquire Serenex's proprietary drug discovery technology and extensive small molecule Hsp90 inhibitor compound library. Compounds from this library have potential uses in treating deadly and debilitating diseases, such as cancer, inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. SNX-1012, another compound in clinical development for the treatment of oral mucositis in cancer patients, is not included in the agreement.


The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2008, subject to customary closing conditions, including approval under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.


“The agreement to acquire Serenex is the latest step in the execution of Pfizer's strategy to expand our commitment to oncology, an area where Pfizer plans to establish a leadership position,” said Jeffrey Kindler, chairman and chief executive officer of Pfizer.


“Pfizer is committed to pursuing compelling science taking place outside our laboratories, and the agreement to acquire Serenex is a splendid example of those efforts,” added Martin Mackay, Ph.D., president of Pfizer Global Research and Development. “The Serenex oncology candidate extends Pfizer's substantial internal research efforts to develop novel treatments for cancer, a leading cause of death in the United States and much of the world. The library of early phase compounds also has wide potential for utility in a range of neurodegenerative and anti-inflammatory disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and arthritis.”

Serenex discovered its small molecule Hsp90 inhibitors using a proprietary high