Merck [NYSE: MRK] Announces Acquisition of Acceleron Pharma Inc

Merck & Co., Inc. [NYSE: MRK] disclosed that it has decided to purchase Acceleron Pharma Inc. The firm will acquire Acceleron through its unit. MRK has inked an acquisition agreement with Acceleron Pharma Inc. [NASDAQ: XLRN] for $180 per share in cash for an estimated total equity value of $11.5 billion.

Merck revealed that strategic business development is its main priority as the firm is looking forward to securing sustainable growth and further strengthen and balance its pipeline with innovation science. MRK contemplates that advanced research of Acceleron has generated an exhilarating late-stage candidate that completes and reinforces MRK’s expanding cardiovascular portfolio and pipeline and has the ability to build upon Merck’s proud legacy in cardiovascular disease.

Acceleron’s main aim is to utilize the power of the transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta superfamily of proteins that is well-known to play a central role in the regulation of cell growth, differentiation, and repair. The lead therapeutic candidate, sotatercept, of Acceleron, has a unique mechanism of action with the ability to enhance short-term and/or long-term clinical results in victims with pulmonary arterial hypertension.  Sotatercept is presently in Phase III trials as an add-on to the current standard of care for the cure of PAH.

Transaction Overview

As per the acquisition agreement, Merck, via a subsidiary, will commence a tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of Acceleron. The execution of the tender offer will be dependent on certain conditions. The closing terms including the tender of shares signify at least a majority of the total number of Acceleron’s outstanding shares, receipt of applicable regulatory agreements, and other traditional conditions.