Merck Keeps M&A Mode On With Mirati, Biogen, mRNA Companies On Radar: FT

Merck & Co Inc MRK remains in a deal-hunting mode despite its recent $11.5 billion acquisition of Acceleron. 

Related: Merck Seals Acceleron Pharma Deal For $180/Share: Highlights.

What Happened: CEO Rob Davis told the Financial Times that he is looking for deals to diversify to plan for life after its wonder cancer Keytruda will lose patent protection in 2028. The Company seems to have a list of potential targets already.

"I'm confident we have the firepower, the capability, the focus, and urgency to do that," Davis said, as quoted by the newspaper. "This is the first step on a journey to continue to build out our pipeline so that we can grow sustainably well into the next decade … We won't be limited by the balance sheet." Although 2028 might sound like a long way off, it is a relatively short time in "pharma years," he added.

Why It Matters: Lung cancer focused Mirati Therapeutics Inc MRTX is one target on Merck's M&A shortlist, FT reported, citing people briefed on the matter. 

Related: Mirati Unveils Long-term Survival Data For Sitravatinib/Nivolumab Combo In Lung Cancer Patients.

In addition, Merck could also go for mRNA players Strand Therapeutics Inc and Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc ARCT, the sources told FT. 

Related: Vietnam's Health Ministry Approves Phase 2, Phase 3 Cohorts Of Arcturus' COVID-19 Vaccine Trial.

Biogen Inc BIIB, with controversial Alzheimer's disease drug Aduhelm, could also become a potential target for Merck, FT reported, citing people close to Merck. In the meantime, the recent readout for Ridgeback Biotherapeutics-partnered oral COVID-19 drug molnupiravir could open up $12 billion in cumulative sales by the end of 2025.

Now Read: Merck COVID-19 Oral Antiviral Cuts Risk of Hospitalization, Death By 50%.

Price Action: BIIB shares are up 1.26% at $283.96, ARCT stock is up 2.06% at $42.20, MRTX stock is up 1.20% at $160.03 during the market session on the last check Wednesday.

Photo by Capri23auto from Pixabay

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