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Merck (MSD) has agreed to buy Acceleron Pharma’s outstanding shares for $180 in cash per share and a total equity value of $11.5bn. The transaction includes the transfer of rights to Acceleron’s lead therapy candidate, sotatercept, intended to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension. The company will launch a tender offer for Acceleron shares through a subsidiary, according to the agreement.
Merck’s acquired subsidiary will be integrated into Acceleron upon completion of the transaction, which is expected to complement and strengthen Merck’s cardiovascular pipeline. What is more, any remaining shares of Acceleron’s common stock will be cancelled and converted into the right to receive the tender offer’s transaction price per-share value of $180.
Merck will also acquire access to Acceleron’s primary treatment candidate, sotatercept. The treatment has a novel mode of action that might improve short- and long-term clinical outcomes in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a life-threatening blood vessel condition. Sotatercept is now being studied in Phase III clinical studies as a supplement to the current line of treatment for PAH patients.
Reblozyl (luspatercept-aamt), a first-in-class erythroid maturation recombinant fusion protein, is also part of Acceleron’s portfolio. Reblozyl has been approved for use in the treatment of anemia in certain uncommon blood diseases in the United States, Europe, Canada, and Australia. The medication is being developed and commercialized in collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb on a global scale. Once the transaction is approved, it is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.
Acceleron focuses on the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) group of proteins, which are known to have a role in cell growth, differentiation, and repair.
Merck also announced the purchase of AmpTec, a German mRNA contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), earlier this year.