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Mergers & Acquisitions

Merck Expands Oncology Pipeline With ArQule

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Published: December 11th, 2019
The biopharmaceutical giant is paying a 107% premium for the target, which focuses on therapies for treating cancer and rare diseases.

Biopharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) said Monday, Dec. 9, it is buying ArQule Inc. (ARQL) for $20 a share or about $2.7 billion in a move that broadens its pipeline in oncology.

The price tag marks a 107% premium over ArQule’s closing share price on Friday.

Burlington, Mass.-based ArQule focuses on therapies for treating cancer and rare diseases. The company’s lead investigational candidate, ARQ 531, is an inhibitor of an enzyme known as Bruton’s tyrosine kinase. ARQ 531 is in a Phase 2 dose expansion study to treat B-cell malignancies.

The deal announcement came on the same day that ArQule unveiled final results from a Phase 1 study of ARQ 531 at the American Society of Hematology 2019 Annual Meeting & Exposition in Orlando, Fla.

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