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Merck’s 11.5 billion acquisition of Acceleron gives them access to their lead therapeutic candidate, sotatercept.
Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, announced on Sept. 30, 2021, that it had agreed to acquire Acceleron, a biopharmaceutical company, for approximately $11.5 billion. Acceleron is focused on the transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta superfamily of proteins, which play a key role in the regulation of cell growth, differentiation, and repair.
Acceleron’s lead therapeutic candidate is sotatercept, which has a novel mechanism of action with the potential to help patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a progressive and life-threatening blood disorder. It is currently in Phase III trials as an add-on to the current standard of care for PAH treatment.
Accleron’s portfolio also includes Reblozyl (luspatercept-aamt), a first-in-class erythroid maturation fusion protein approved in the US, Europe, Canada, and Australia for the treatment of anemia in certain rare blood disorders. Reblozyl has been developed and commercialized in a collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb.
“Strategic business development is a top priority for Merck as we look to drive sustainable growth and further bolster and balance our pipeline with breakthrough science,” said Rob Davis, CEO and president, Merck, in an Acceleron press release. “Acceleron’s innovative research has yielded an exciting late-stage candidate that complements and strengthens our growing cardiovascular portfolio and pipeline and holds the potential to build upon Merck’s proud legacy in cardiovascular disease.”
“This agreement with Merck represents the culmination of decades of work by Acceleron researchers successfully leveraging our company’s deep scientific expertise in the biology of the TGF-beta superfamily and driven by an unwavering dedication to delivering life-changing medicines for patients,” said Habib Dable, CEO and president, Acceleron, in the press release. “We believe Merck is well-positioned to apply its industry-leading clinical and commercial capabilities to harness the potential of sotatercept as we join together to help make an impact on cardiopulmonary disease for the benefit of patients.”