Pfizer just struck a $5.2 billion deal for an eczema drugmaker

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A man enters the employee entrance of the Pfizer World Headquarters building in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., November 23, 2015.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/Files Thomson ReutersA man enters the employee entrance of the Pfizer World Headquarters building in New York

Pfizer is planning to buy biopharmaceutical company Anacor for $5.2 billion.

Anacor already has one approved drug (a topical anti-fungal treatment), but the big draw for Pfizer is a drug called crisaborole to treat eczema, an inflammatory skin condition.

The gel treatment is in the FDA filing process and should be decided on by January 2017, and Pfizer said in a release that it expects peak yearly sales for the drug to hit $2 billion.

In April, the drugmaker's $160 billion megamerger with Allergan was scrapped after the US Treasury released new rules governing so-called tax inversions that undercut the deal's key rationale. Since then, there have been reports that Pfizer is also interested in cancer drugmaker Medivation.

Ultimately, Pfizer (which has both innovative and established sides) is headed for a split-up of the company, which it's expected to give an update on by than the end of 2016. The Anacor acquisition would fit in with that plan by building up the company's inflammation portfolio.

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