RARE Daily

Merck to Acquire Caraway for up to $610 Million

November 21, 2023

Rare Daily Staff

Merck entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Caraway Therapeutics, a preclinical developer of small molecule therapies for genetically defined neurodegenerative and rare diseases, for a total of up to $610 million.

Caraway is focused on activating cellular recycling processes to clear toxic materials and defective cellular components by modulating lysosomal function. Caraway is utilizing its product engine to develop insights into lysosomal function and small molecule ion channel modulation and advance a robust pipeline of precision therapeutic candidates with disease-modifying potential for patients.

The company is backed by SV Health Investors and its Dementia Discovery Fund, AbbVie Ventures, MRL Ventures Fund, Amgen Ventures, and Eisai Innovation.

“This important milestone is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Caraway team and our mission to develop therapeutics with the potential to alter the progression of devasting neurodegenerative diseases and help patients,” said Martin Williams, CEO of Caraway Therapeutics. “This acquisition leverages Merck’s industry-leading research and development capabilities to help further advance our discovery and preclinical programs.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Merck will acquire all outstanding shares of Caraway through a subsidiary. The deal includes an undisclosed upfront payment and earnout milestones associated with the development of certain pipeline candidates.

Merck said the upfront payment will be expensed in the fourth quarter of 2023 and included in non-GAAP results.

“Caraway’s multidisciplinary approach has yielded important progress in evaluating novel mechanisms of modulation of lysosomal function with potential for the treatment of progressive neurodegenerative diseases,” said George Addona, senior vice president of discovery, preclinical development, and translational medicine for Merck Research Laboratories. “We look forward to applying our expertise to build upon this work with the goal of developing much needed disease-modifying therapies for these conditions.”

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