CTI BioPharma to be acquired by Swedish drug company for $1.7B

Seattle-based CTI BioPharma, (Nasdaq CTIC), is being purchased by Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB for approximately $1.7 billion in cash.

The deal was announced on Wednesday, and the companies expect that it will close by the third quarter. According to the news release, this deal will increase Sobi’s drug portfolio, and its presence in the U.S. CTI will have access to Sobi’s resources, and its international presence.

Adam Craig, CTI CEO, stated in the press release: "We are pleased to announce this transaction." By joining forces, CTI has access to more financial and development resources.

Sobi pays $9.10 for each share of CTI. This is an 89% premium to the closing price of Tuesday. CTI's Board unanimously approved this deal, the release states. CTI will also not be publishing its first quarter financial results because of the deal.

CTI employed 127 people full-time at the end last year according to a regulatory filing. Sobi, a Stockholm-based company, announced in a press release that it employs about 1,600 people in Europe, North America and the Middle East. It also has employees in Asia, Australia, Asia Pacific, Asia, and Australia. Both companies did not say whether all CTI employees will join Sobi, or what would happen to the CTI name.

CTI was established in 1992. Pacritinib is the company's leading drug. It targets blood cancers such as myelofibrosis. In the U.S., the drug is approved for adults. The former CEO James Bianco left his position in 2016 when the Food and Drug Administration stopped Pacritinib clinical trials due to patient deaths. In 2018, the company laid off half its staff, but its stock and workforce have steadily grown in recent years. CTI raised $60M through a rights offer in 2020 when it had approximately 25 employees.