Merck strikes mega deal to purchase Acceleron

Sept. 30, 2021

Merck has announced that it is laying down a whopping $11.5 billion to pick up Massachusetts-based Acceleron Pharma. 

The deal is aimed at helping Merck accelerate its rare disease portfolio. In particular, Acceleron is developing a drug called sotatercept for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a rare condition caused by high pressure in blood vessels that impact the lungs. So far, other drugs on the market treat symptoms of the condition or slow its progression. But Acceleron’s treatment, which is in late stage studies, has the potential to stop it. 

“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,” Rob Davis, chief executive officer and president of Merck, said in a statement.

As part of the acquisition, Merck will also pick up a drug called Reblozyl, a first-in-class erythroid maturation recombinant fusion protein approved to treat anemia in certain rare blood disorders.