Merck Will acquire drugmakers Acceleron Pharmaceuticals The two companies said on Thursday that it would need approximately $11.5 billion because the US pharmaceutical giant hopes to strengthen its product portfolio with drugs to treat rare diseases.
According to data from Refinitiv, Merck will pay $180 per Acceleron share in cash, a premium of about 2.6% over the stock’s closing price on Wednesday.
Acceleron, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialization of therapies for the treatment of cardiovascular and other blood-related diseases.
The company is developing Sotatercept, currently in an advanced stage of research, for the treatment of a rare cardiovascular disease called pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), which is a type of high blood pressure that affects the lungs.
Rare disease treatment is a lucrative market for drugmakers because they can charge higher fees for these unique drugs. According to data and analysis company GlobalData, the PAH market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5% in seven major markets from 2019 to 2029.
In 2017, Johnson & Johnson acquired Actelion and its pulmonary hypertension drugs in a $30 billion all-cash transaction. Merck is also developing treatments for this indication and is currently in the mid-term research stage. Merck and Sotatercept will acquire Rebrozyl, which is approved for the treatment of two blood-related diseases, including anemia in patients with beta thalassemia.
The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter.