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12 December 2019BiotechnologyRory O'Neill

Merck & Co in $2.7bn cancer research acquisition

Merck & Co has  announced its acquisition of biotechnology company ArQule in a $2.7 billion deal.

ArQule, based in Massachusetts, focuses primarily on kinase inhibitor discovery with the aim of developing new cancer treatments.

In a bid to expand its own cancer drug portfolio, Merck & Co has agreed a deal to acquire the company in a $20 per share in cash deal.

“ArQule’s focus on precision medicine has yielded multiple clinical-stage oral kinase inhibitors that have novel and important properties,” said Roger Perlmutter, president of Merck & Co’s research laboratories.

“This acquisition strengthens Merck’s pipeline with the addition of these strategic assets including, most notably, ARQ 531, a compelling candidate for the treatment of B-cell malignancies,” he added.

ARQ 531, ArQule’s lead investigational candidate, is currently in a phase 2 dose expansion study for the treatment of B-cell malignancies.

B-cell malignancies are types of cancer including non-Hodgkin lymphomas.

It is the second major acquisition of a cancer research-focused biotech company by a leading pharmaceutical brand this week.

Earlier this week, LSIPR reported that  Sanofi had agreed to buy Synthorx in a $2.5 billion deal.

The purchase includes THOR-707, a molecule which Sanofi global R&D chief John Reed says has the potential to “become a foundation of the next generation of immune-oncology combination therapies”.

“By selectively expanding the numbers of effector T-cells and natural killer cells in the body, THOR-707 can be combined with our current oncology medicines and our emerging pipeline of immuno-modulatory agents for treating cancer,” Reed said.

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Big Pharma
10 December 2019   Sanofi is to acquire Synthorx, a biotechnology company focused on improving the lives of people suffering from cancer and autoimmune diseases, for $2.5 billion.

More on this story

Big Pharma
10 December 2019   Sanofi is to acquire Synthorx, a biotechnology company focused on improving the lives of people suffering from cancer and autoimmune diseases, for $2.5 billion.

More on this story

Big Pharma
10 December 2019   Sanofi is to acquire Synthorx, a biotechnology company focused on improving the lives of people suffering from cancer and autoimmune diseases, for $2.5 billion.