Acquisition expands Merck’s growing hematology portfolio
Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and cancer drug developer Imago BioSciences announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which Merck, through a subsidiary, will acquire Imago for $36.00 per share in cash for an approximate total equity value of $1.35 billion.
“We continue to invest in our pipeline with a focus on applying our unique capabilities to unlock the value of breakthrough science for the patients we serve,” said Robert M. Davis, president and chief executive officer, Merck. “This acquisition of Imago augments our pipeline and strengthens our presence in the growing field of hematology.”
Imago is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing new medicines for the treatment of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) and other bone marrow diseases. Imago’s lead candidate bomedemstat (IMG-7289), an investigational orally available lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1) inhibitor, is currently being evaluated in multiple Phase 2 clinical trials for the treatment of essential thrombocythemia (ET), myelofibrosis (MF), and polycythemia vera (PV), in addition to other indications.
“This milestone is a testament to more than a decade of pioneering research by Imago scientists and the entire Imago team’s unwavering dedication to improving the lives of patients,” said Dr. Hugh Y. Rienhoff, Jr., Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Imago BioSciences.
“This agreement leverages Merck’s industry-leading clinical development expertise to maximize the therapeutic potential of bomedemstat while providing important value for shareholders. I would also like to acknowledge with gratitude the early investors – Blackstone Life Sciences, Frazier Healthcare, Omega Funds, Amgen Ventures, and MRL Ventures Fund who placed their faith in Imago beginning in 2014, as well as the outstanding study investigators and their patients who have made the clinical development of bomedemstat possible.”
“Evidence indicates that LSD1 plays an important role in the maturation of blood cells in the bone marrow,” said Dr. Dean Y. Li, president, Merck Research Laboratories. “We look forward to working with the Imago team to further investigate the potential of bomedemstat for patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms.”
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023.
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