All-In on Immunology

All-In on Immunology

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  • Merck & Co, a US pharmaceutical firm, plans to acquire Prometheus Biosciences for approximately $10.8 billion. With this acquisition, Merck aims to strengthen its presence in immunology and gain access to a promising experimental treatment for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
  • The California-based biotechnology company specializes in treatments for autoimmune disorders, and Merck will purchase it for $200 per share, representing a significant premium of 75% above the $114.01 closing price of Prometheus shares on Friday. If the deal is finalized in Q3 2023 as planned, Merck is expected to conduct a late-stage study on the drug for ulcerative colitis in Q4 2023 or Q1 2024, according to Merck chief executive.

Why it matters

Merck has been seeking agreements to shield itself from possible revenue loss when patents on its top-selling cancer immunotherapy drug, Keytruda, expire later in the decade. Keytruda generated nearly $21 billion in sales for the company in the previous year.


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