Merck to Acquire Afferent Pharmaceuticals

June 13, 2016

Merck will acquire Afferent Pharmaceuticals for $500 million in cash with the potential for additional payments.

Merck (known as MSD outside the US and Canada) will acquire California-based Afferent Pharmaceuticals for an upfront payment of $500 million in cash with the potential to receive up to an additional $750 million, Merck said in a June 9, 2016 press announcement. Afferent is a developer of therapeutic candidates targeting the P2X3 receptors for the treatment of common, poorly-managed neurogenic conditions. The company’s lead investigational candidate, AF-219, is a selective, non-narcotic, orally administered P2X3 antagonist being evaluated for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and refractory, chronic cough.

The closing of the transaction will be subject to certain conditions, including the expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary conditions. The companies anticipate the transaction will close in the third quarter of 2016.

Merck also recently announced a collaboration with FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies to invest and operate a large-scale facility in Innishannon, County Cork, Ireland. The collaboration involves a $60-million investment by MSD at its Brinny manufacturing plant in Innishannon, County Cork, Ireland. It is intended that the large-scale biologics operations at MSD in Brinny will be operational in early 2018 for biotech and pharma customers of Fujifilm Diosynth.

Source: Merck