Merck announced on Nov. 22 that it completed its $11.5 billion acquisition of Acceleron Pharma Inc.
“This is an important and strategic opportunity for our company to continue growing our cardiovascular portfolio and pipeline, that builds on our long and proud legacy in cardiovascular disease and further bolsters our business development strategy,” said Merck President and Chief Executive Officer Rob Davis. “Fueled by Acceleron’s groundbreaking research, we are excited to explore the opportunities and possibilities ahead to reach even more patients by addressing this critical health need.”
The deal was announced in September.
An initial tender offer for stockholders of Acceleron to receive $180 in cash for each share of Acceleron common stock, without interest and less any required tax withholding, was set to expire on Nov. 10, 2021. That commenced through Merck subsidiary Astros Merger Sub Inc. on Oct. 12.
At the end of October, though, Kenilworth-based Merck announced it was withdrawing its Premerger Notification and Report Form under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (HSR) to provide the Federal Trade Commission with additional review time. On Nov. 8, Merck announced the deal was cleared by competition authorities in Germany and Austria.
A week later, on Nov. 17, Merck announced the expiration of the waiting period under HSR, satisfying a condition for the completion of the tender offer. The next day, Astros Merger Sub’s extended the tender offer until Nov. 19, to accommodate tendering of Acceleron shares traded on Nov. 17.
Acceleron focuses on using the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily of proteins that have a hand in regulating cell growth, differentiation and repair, according to Merck. Sotatercept, its lead therapeutic candidate, has the potential to improve short- and/or long-term clinical outcomes in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. It is in Phase 3 trials, Merck said, as add-on to current stand of care treatment for PAH.
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