Icagen, a Durham drug development company that has struggled financially, is in discussions about a possible takeover by its much-larger partner Pfizer.
Pfizer disclosed in a regulatory filing this afternoon that it is "evaluating the possibility of entering into a strategic transaction with Icagen."
Icagen began a collaboration with Pfizer in 2007 to develop new pain medicines. As part of that partnership, Pfizer has paid Icagen millions of dollars in milestone fees. It also bought more than 1 million Icagen shares and now owns a 14 percent stake in the company.
In a prepared statement late today, Icagen acknowledged that its executives are in talks with Pfizer, but that no agreement has been reached. The company "does not plan to make future announcements with respect to this matter" until a deal is reached, the current partnership agreement with Pfizer is extended or the discussions have terminated.