Merck To Pay $2.7B For Biopharmaceutical Company Developing Therapies For Cancer, Rare Diseases

Merck Lab Worker
Merck, which has more than 10,000 employees in Montgomery County, has entered into a deal to buy biopharmaceutical company ArQule for $2.7 billion.

Merck, which has over 10,000 employees in Montgomery County, has entered into a deal to buy ArQule, a biopharmaceutical company developing targeted cancer and rare disease therapies, for $2.7 billion, writes John George for the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Merck will pay $20 per share to the Massachusetts-based company’s stockholders. This was a 100 percent premium over the company’s $9.66 share price at the time the deal was agreed.

ArQule’s lead drug candidate under development is ARQ 531, a potential treatment of B-cell malignancies that include elapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

“ArQule’s focus on precision medicine has yielded multiple clinical-stage oral kinase inhibitors that have novel and important properties,” said Dr. Roger M. Perlmutter, president of Merck Research Laboratories. “This acquisition strengthens Merck’s pipeline with the addition of these strategic assets.”

Meanwhile, ArQule CEO Paolo Pucci said the pipeline of new drug candidates under development by his company will benefit from Merck’s “vast capabilities and determined engagement to benefit the patients who we have always strived to serve.”

The transaction is now awaiting regulatory and shareholder approval and is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of 2020.

Read more about the sale at the Philadelphia Business Journal by clicking here.


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