Merck to acquire Immune Design in $300M deal

Merck announced Thursday one of its subsidiaries will acquire Immune Design for approximately $300 million.

Immune Design is a late-stage immunotherapy company that uses in vivo approaches to enable to body’s immune system to fight diseases.

“Scientists at Immune Design have established a unique portfolio of approaches to cancer immunization and adjuvant systems designed to enhance the ability of a vaccine to protect against infection, which could meaningfully improve vaccine development,” Dr. Roger M. Perlmutter, president, Merck Research Laboratories, said. “This acquisition builds upon Merck’s industry-leading programs that harness the power of the immune system to prevent and treat disease.”

Under terms of the deal, Merck’s subisidary will initiate a tender offer to acquire all the outstanding shares of Immune Disease. Once the deal is complete, Merck will acquire all the shares not acquired in the tender offer through a second-step merger.

“Merck has a rich history of discovery and innovation and a strong track record of developing meaningful therapeutics and vaccines,” Dr. Carlos Paya, CEO and president, Immune Design, said. “We believe this agreement creates shareholder value by positioning our technologies and capabilities for long-term success with a leading, research-driven biopharmaceutical company.”

Credit Suisse acted as financial advisor and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP acted as legal advisor to Merck. Lazard acted as financial advisor and Cooley LLP acted as legal advisor to Immune Design.

The deal is expected to close in second quarter of 2019.