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Merck to boost portfolio with Tilos
Posted on Tuesday, 11 June 2019 12:35
Merck, through a subsidiary, is acquiring US-based biopharmaceutical company Tilos Therapeutics for USD 773.00 million.

The consideration includes an upfront sum, as well as performance-related milestone payments.

Headquartered in Lexington, Tilos develops antibody therapeutics for latency-associated peptide (LAP) of transforming growth factor beta (TGFß), to help treat cancer and other conditions such as fibrosis and autoimmune diseases.

The anti-LAP antibodies work in two ways: they strengthen the immune responses to tumours by depleting cells and reduce TGFß levels to limit malignant growth, metastasis and immunosuppression.

Founded by Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund and Partners Innovation Fund, Tilos’ pipeline includes regulatory T cells, which feature immunoglobulin that releases mature cytokine and could be used to treat autoimmune diseases.

Dean Li, senior vice president of Merck Research Laboratories, said: “Tilos has developed a compelling portfolio of candidates that employ a novel approach to modulating the potent signalling molecule TGFß by binding to LAP, with potential applications across a range of disease applications.”

Dr Barbara Fox, chief executive of the target, said the transaction would better position its pipeline for broad clinical and commercial success.

The deal with Tilos is the buyer’s second transaction in as many months; in May, it agreed to acquire US-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical business Peloton Therapeutics for USD 2.20 billion.

New Jersey-based Merck is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world and develops medicines, vaccines and animal health products.

It has around 69,000 employees and its portfolio includes treatments for cardiovascular diseases, oncology. neuroscience and women’s health.

Merck also focuses on research and development for diabetes, Alzheimer’s and autoimmune conditions such as the human immunodeficiency virus, more commonly known as HIV.

For the quarter ended 31st March 2019, the group booked sales of USD 10.82 billion, up 8.0 per cent from USD 10.04 billion in the corresponding period of 2018.

According to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau Van Dijk, there have been 2,400 deals targeting scientific research and development services providers announced worldwide since the beginning of 2019.

In largest of these, and the second-largest transaction targeting a company in the sector on record, Danaher agreed to buy General Electric’s biopharma business for USD 21.40 billion.

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