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12 June 2014Americas

Merck to acquire Idenix for $3.85bn

Drug giant Merck is to acquire biopharmaceutical company Idenix for $24.50 per share, valuing the purchase at around $3.85 billion.

Idenix discovers and develops medicines for viral diseases, particularly the hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, and currently has three HCV drug candidates in clinical development.

Merck’s R&D portfolio includes several HCV medicines in development, one of which is being tested in phase three clinical trials.

Roger Perlmutter, president of Merck Research Laboratories, said Idenix has established a “promising” portfolio of hepatitis C candidates.

“Idenix’s investigational hepatitis C candidates complement our promising therapies in development and will help advance our work to develop a highly effective, once-daily, all oral, ribavirin-free, pan-genotypic regimen that has a duration of treatment as short as possible for millions of patients in need around the world.”

Ron Renaud, Idenix’s president and chief executive, added: “This agreement creates shareholder value by positioning Idenix’s strong portfolio of candidates for future success with a leading healthcare company with the experience and commitment to develop fixed-dosed combinations with the potential to impact the global burden of hepatitis C.”

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014.

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