Merck to acquire Imago BioSciences to expand blood disorder drugs portfolio

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Pharma giant Merck will acquire Imago BioSciences, a Nasdaq-listed clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, for a price of $36 per share in cash, which translates to a total equity value of around $1.35bn.

The acquisition is expected to expand Merck’s blood disorder drugs portfolio.

Imago BioSciences is focused on developing new drugs for the treatment of bone marrow diseases such as myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs).

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Robert M Davis — Merck president and CEO said: “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.

“This acquisition of Imago augments our pipeline and strengthens our presence in the growing field of hematology.”

Merck to acquire Imago BioSciences in $1.35bn deal to expand blood disorder drugs portfolio

Merck to acquire Imago BioSciences in $1.35bn deal to expand blood disorder drugs portfolio. Photo courtesy of Merck & Co., Inc.

Imago BioSciences’ main candidate bomedemstat (IMG-7289) is an investigational orally available inhibitor of lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1). Bomedemstat is presently being assessed in multiple phase 2 clinical trials for the treatment of myelofibrosis, essential thrombocythemia, and polycythemia vera along with other indications.

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Dr Hugh Y Rienhoff, Jr — Imago BioSciences Founder and CEO said: “This agreement leverages Merck’s industry-leading clinical development expertise to maximize the therapeutic potential of bomedemstat while providing important value for shareholders.”

As per the terms of the acquisition, Merck will initiate a tender offer to buy all outstanding shares of Imago BioSciences through a subsidiary, which will be merged into the clinical-stage biopharma company post-closing.

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Subject to certain closing conditions, the transaction is expected to complete in Q1 2023.

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