Merck & Co.said Sept. 30 it agreed to buy Acceleron Pharma Inc. for $11.5 billion, bolstering the pharmaceutical giant’s rare-disease business.
Acceleron is running late-stage studies of a potential treatment, sotatercept, for patients with life-threatening pulmonary arterial hypertension.
“Strategic business development is a top priority for Merck as we look to drive sustainable growth and further bolster and balance our pipeline with breakthrough science,” said Merck President and CEO Rob Davis. “Acceleron’s innovative research has yielded an exciting late-stage candidate that complements and strengthens our growing cardiovascular portfolio and pipeline and holds the potential to build upon Merck’s proud legacy in cardiovascular disease.”
Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, Merck, through a subsidiary, will initiate a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Acceleron. Upon the successful completion of the tender offer, Merck’s acquisition subsidiary will be merged into Acceleron, and any remaining shares of common stock of Acceleron will be canceled and converted into the right to receive the same $180 per share price payable in the tender offer.
In addition to sotatercept, Acceleron’s portfolio includes REBLOZYL (luspatercept-aamt), a first-in-class erythroid maturation recombinant fusion protein approved in the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia for the treatment of anemia in certain rare blood disorders. REBLOZYL is being developed and commercialized through a global collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb.
“This agreement with Merck represents the culmination of decades of work by Acceleron researchers successfully leveraging our company’s deep scientific expertise in the biology of the TGF-beta superfamily and driven by an unwavering dedication to delivering life-changing medicines for patients,” said Habib Dable, chief executive officer and president, Acceleron. “We believe Merck is well-positioned to apply its industry-leading clinical and commercial capabilities to harness the potential of sotatercept as we join together to help make an impact on cardiopulmonary disease for the benefit of patients.”
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.
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