Merck to acquire Acceleron Pharma, strengthening cardiovascular pipeline

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Merck gains sotatercept and reblozyl with the acquisition. Pic:getty/experienceinteriors
Merck gains sotatercept and reblozyl with the acquisition. Pic:getty/experienceinteriors

Related tags Merck cardiovascular disease

Merck (MSD outside the US and Canada) will acquire Acceleron in a deal worth around $11.5bn.

Founded in 2003,  Acceleron works in the discovery, development and commercialization of therapeutics to treat serious and rare diseases. The Cambridge, Massachusetts biotech is focused on the transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta superfamily of proteins that play a central role in the regulation of cell growth, differentiation and repair.

Acceleron’s lead therapeutic candidate, sotatercept, has a novel mechanism of action with the potential to improve short-term and/or long-term clinical outcomes in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a progressive and life-threatening blood vessel disorder. Sotatercept is in Phase 3 trials as add-on to current standard of care for the treatment of PAH.

In addition, Acceleron’s portfolio includes Reblozyl (luspatercept-aamt), an erythroid maturation recombinant fusion protein approved in the US, Europe, Canada and Australia for the treatment of anemia in certain rare blood disorders. Reblozyl is being developed and commercialized through a global collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb.

Merck will acquire Acceleron via a subsidiary, with the two merging on completion of the acquisition. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.

“Strategic business development is a top priority for Merck as we look to drive sustainable growth and further bolster and balance our pipeline with breakthrough science,”​ said Rob Davis, CEO and president, Merck.

“Acceleron’s innovative research has yielded an exciting late-stage candidate that complements and strengthens our growing cardiovascular portfolio and pipeline and holds the potential to build upon Merck’s proud legacy in cardiovascular disease.”

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