Merck Expands Hematology Portfolio with Acquisition of Imago BioSciences
November 21, 2022
Merck said it agreed to acquire Imago BioSciences, which is developing therapies for myeloproliferative neoplasms and other bone marrow diseases, for $36 per share in cash for an approximate total equity value of $1.35 billion.
Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, Merck, through a subsidiary, will initiate a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Imago. Upon the successful completion of the tender offer, Merck’s acquisition subsidiary will be merged into Imago, and any remaining shares of common stock of Imago will be canceled and converted into the right to receive the same $36 per share price payable in the tender offer. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023.
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.
Myeloproliferative neoplasms are a group of diseases of the bone marrow characterized by excessive production of red blood cells, platelets, or certain white blood cells. Myeloproliferative neoplasms progress over time as the number of extra cells build up in the blood and/or bone marrow. This may lead to bleeding problems, anemia, infection, fatigue, thrombosis or other signs and symptoms. Certain myeloproliferative neoplasms may become acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Myeloproliferative neoplasms include chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), polycythemia vera, primary myelofibrosis, essential thrombocythemia, chronic neutrophilic leukemia, and chronic eosinophilic leukemia.
LSD1, also called KDM1A, discovered in 2004, is a member of a group of epigenetic proteins that regulate gene expression through chemical modifications of proteins, RNA and DNA. LSD1 regulates the maturation of bone marrow stem cells and is essential for the differentiation of progenitor cells into mature megakaryocytes and granulocytes and production of blood cells. Given the role that LSD1 plays in the function of malignant blood cells, targeting LSD1 for the treatment of blood cancers offers a new mechanism for the treatment of diseases associated with high morbidity and mortality.
“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 Davis, president and CEO of Merck. “This acquisition of Imago augments our pipeline and strengthens our presence in the growing field of hematology.”
Photo: Robert Davis, president and CEO of Merck
Author: Rare Daily Staff
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