Merck Acquiring Acceleron Pharma for Around $11.5B


Merck, the pharmaceutical giant with sizable operations in West Point, is acquiring Acceleron Pharma for around $11.5 billion, according to a staff report from CNBC.

The move is broadening Merck’s portfolio beyond the cancer drug Keytruda with potential treatments that could mean fresh revenue for the company.

Merck is gaining access to sotatercept, Acceleron’s rare disease drug candidate, which could provide a multi-billion dollar peak sales opportunity.

This is especially important as it comes at a time when Keytruda moves toward its loss of market exclusivity in 7 years. The lung cancer treatment is by far the highest earner for Merck accounting for 36.7 percent, or $4.18 billion, of the company’s total sales in the second quarter.

Currently, Sotatercept is in a late-stage study that is testing the drug as a treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension, a rare cardiovascular disease. The drugmaker sees the disease as a $7.5 billion market by 2026.

Merck will pay Acceleron $180 per share in cash, which is a premium of around 2.6 percent over the stock’s closing price on Wednesday.

The company is targeting a launch for Sotatercept in the United States for 2024-2025, with market exclusivity for PAH extended through 2036-2037.

Read more about the acquisition of Acceleron Pharma at CNBC.

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