Trillium makes the most of Pfizer’s tentative approach
Trillium has not fared too badly after apparently being passed over by Abbvie, which last week snagged I-Mab’s rival anti-CD47 project. A $25m equity investment from Pfizer, including the pharma giant’s chief science officer taking a seat on the board, has been rewarded by investors several fold. On top of a $370m market cap gain, a resulting secondary raise could see the company bank a further $85m, probably even more, depending on pricing. New data this week also provided a boost, detailing further encouraging signs of single-agent activity from the two CD47 assets that Trillium has in development, both of which are still in dose escalation. These knock-on benefits paint the Pfizer deal in a better light; given the $4.7bn Gilead paid for Forty Seven and the $200m Abbvie paid I-Mab, $25m initially looked disappointing. Trillium told Evaluate Vantage that the pharma giant has no right of first refusal over any of its pipeline, although Pfizer and its CSO are subject to a confidentiality agreement. An option deal by any other name smells as sweet, of course; assuming the promise in Trillium’s CD47 assets is confirmed, it’s hard to imagine another developer’s name appearing on any term sheets.