Merck buys rare disease specialist Acceleron for $ 11.5 billion


Merck & Co. (MRK) – Get the Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) report agreed to purchase Acceleron Pharma Inc. (XLRN) – Get the report from Acceleron Pharma Inc Thursday in a deal that values ​​rare drug specialists at around $ 11.5 billion.

Merck will pay $ 180 per share to Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Acceleron, a 38.5% premium over the group’s share price in early September. The purchase not only adds Acceleron’s pipeline of treatments for rare blood-related diseases, but it also beats the interest of rival contenders such as Bristol-Myers Squibb BMY, which owns an 11.5% stake in Acceleron. .

“Strategic business development is a top priority for Merck as we seek to drive sustainable growth and further strengthen and balance our pipeline with cutting-edge science,” said Rob Davis, CEO of Merck, who recently replaced the boss. longtime Ken Fraizer. “Acceleron’s innovative research has produced an exciting late-stage candidate that complements and strengthens our growing cardiovascular portfolio and product portfolio and has the potential to build on Merck’s proud heritage in the disease field. cardiovascular.

Acceleron shares were down 0.4% early in the session following news of the Merck takeover and change of hands to $ 176.65 each. Merck shares, meanwhile, rose 01.74% to $ 76.40 each.

“This agreement with Merck represents the culmination of decades of work by Acceleron researchers in successfully leveraging our company’s deep scientific expertise in the biology of the TGF-beta superfamily and driven by an unwavering dedication to providing life changing drugs, ”said Acceleron CEO. Habib Dable.

Merck expects global sales of between $ 46.4 billion and $ 47.4 billion and non-GAAP earnings between $ 5.47 and $ 5.57 per share, following its second quarter results update in July, in part thanks to a 23% increase in sales of Keytruda, its blockbuster against cancer. processing.

Merck had brought in Davis to replace outgoing CEO Ken Frazier, with the longtime boss becoming executive chairman of the company’s board late last month.

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