Merck & Acceleron Pharma Reach $11.5B Acquisition Deal To Boost Merck’s Cardio Sector

Pharmaceutical company Merck has its eye on Acceleron Pharma to enhance its cardiovascular offerings.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) will acquire biopharmaceutical company Acceleron Pharma Inc. (Nasdaq: XLRN) in an $11.5 billion deal announced on September 30. The transaction is aimed to boost Merck’s cardiovascular segment.

Merck’s cardiovascular products include Verquvo, which received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in January to reduce the risk of heart failure. Acceleron is attractive to Merck for its pipeline because of its products and trial products. According to the press release, Acceleron’s potential product, Sotatercept – in Phase 3 trials – has “a novel mechanism of action” that could help both short-term and long-term outcomes of patients with the blood vessel disorder pulmonary arterial hypertension. Additionally, Acceleron’s products also include Reblozyl, a “first-in-class erythroid maturation recombinant fusion protein … for the treatment of anemia in certain rare blood disorders.”

Pursuant to the agreement, Merck via subsidiary Astros Merger Sub, Inc. will acquire Acceleron for $180 per share in cash. The public target merger is expected to close at the end of the year.

Merck is represented by Covington & Burling LLP and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP as well as Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC and Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC as its financial advisors.

Acceleron is represented by Ropes & Gray LLP with financial advisors Centerview Partners LLC and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC.