Merck & Co. to acquire rare disease drug makers Acceleron for $11.5 billion in a bid to expand its drug portfolio.
U.S pharmaceutical giants Merck & Co. will buy drugmaker Acceleron Pharma for $11.5 billion as Merck & Co. looks to expand the drugs for rare diseases in its portfolio.The boards of both pharmaceutical companies have agreed to an all-cash deal with Merck paying $180 per share, a premium of 2.6% to the stock’s last closing price.
Massachusetts-based Acceleron focuses primarily on therapeutic drugs that treat cardiovascular and blood-related diseases. The acquisition gives Merck access to a potentially lucrative rare disease drug candidate named Sotatercept. The Sotatercept drug aims to treat Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH), a rare cardiovascular disease caused by high blood pressure that affects the lungs.
The manufacture of drugs used to treat rare diseases is a lucrative market, as drugmakers charge exorbitant amounts for drugs made to serve small patient populations. Apart from Sotatercept, Merck also will gain access to another drug named Reblozyl, which treats two rare blood-related diseases, including anemia in patients suffering from beta-thalassemia.
The transaction of the sale is expected to be completed in the last quarter of this year