NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- AstraZeneca (AZN) and Pfizer (PFE) investors held their breath Friday after Pfizer trading was briefly halted for news. Many investors anticipated that, after months of pursuit, Pfizer had won over AstraZeneca with a suitable offer.
But it was not to be.
Instead of announcing a merger, Pfizer unveiled a new drug. The pharmaceutical giant said it would submit a new treatment for post-menopausal women with breast cancer. The new medication, called palbociclib, successfully blocked tumor growth when combined with another cancer drug letrozole in trials. The combined treatment proved better than letrozole alone.
@reefcap PFE is announcing they are submitting an NDA early for a cancer drug that has been in trials. No M/A stuff unfortunately.? Michael (@YazzJr) May. 16 at 12:25 PM
Pfizer shares climbed more than 1% on the news. AstraZeneca edged higher.
Pfizer sweetened its offer for AstraZeneca last week to $84.47-per-share. This week, management shared a presentation displaying the benefits a combined company would enjoy and questioning AstraZeneca's ability to go it alone.
"The Board of AstraZeneca believes Pfizer is making an opportunistic attempt to acquire a transformed AstraZeneca without reflecting the value of its existing pipeline," management said in a statement this week. "The Board reiterates its confidence in AstraZeneca's ability to deliver on its prospects as an independent, science led business."