Merck to acquire ArQule
Merck is diversifying its oncology pipeline. The company announced that through a subsidiary it will acquire ArQule for $20 per share in cash for an approximate total equity value of $2.7 billion.
ArQule is a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company focused on kinase inhibitor discovery and development for the treatment of patients with cancer and other diseases. ArQule’s lead investigational candidate, ARQ 531, is a novel, oral Bruton’s tyrosine kinase inhibitor currently in a Phase 2 dose expansion study for the treatment of B-cell malignancies.
“ArQule’s focus on precision medicine has yielded multiple clinical-stage oral kinase inhibitors that have novel and important properties,” Roger Perlmutter, Merck Research Laboratories president said. “This acquisition strengthens Merck’s pipeline with the addition of these strategic assets including, most notably, ARQ 531, a compelling candidate for the treatment of B-cell malignancies.”
“We are proud that Merck has recognized the contributions that ArQule, together with its scientific collaborators, has made to the field of precision medicine in oncology with ARQ 531 for the treatment of B-cell malignancies and with the rest of our clinical-stage pipeline,” said ArQule CEO Paolo Pucci. “With this agreement, ArQule’s pipeline will benefit from Merck’s vast capabilities and determined engagement to benefit the patients who we have always strived to serve.”