Merck bolsters oncology pipeline with acquisition

22 May 2019

Acquisition includes novel late-stage renal cell carcinoma candidate, PT2977.

Merck (MSD) and Peloton Therapeutics have entered into a definitive agreement under which Merck, through a subsidiary, will acquire privately held Peloton, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel small molecule therapeutic candidates targeting hypoxia-inducible factor-2α (HIF-2α) for the treatment of patients with cancer and other non-oncology diseases. Peloton’s lead candidate is PT2977, a novel oral HIF-2α inhibitor in late-stage development for renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

Merck bolsters oncology pipeline with acquisition

“This acquisition exemplifies Merck’s strategy to pursue novel therapeutic candidates based on exceptionally promising and innovative research," said Dr Roger M. Perlmutter, president, Merck Research Laboratories. “Peloton scientists have applied their unique expertise in HIF-2α biology to develop PT2977, which has already shown intriguing activity in the treatment of RCC. We look forward to advancing this late-stage asset as part of our broad oncology R&D program.”

Under terms of the agreement, Merck, through a subsidiary, will acquire all outstanding shares of Peloton in exchange for an upfront payment of $1.05 billion in cash. In addition, Peloton shareholders will be eligible to receive a further $1.15 billion contingent upon successful achievement of future regulatory and sales milestones for certain candidates.

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