Merck to acquire Peloton in deal valued at $2.25B

Merck, a pharmaceutical giant based in Kenilworth, announced Tuesday one of its subsidiaries will buy Peloton Therapeutics, a Dallas, Texas-based clinical stage biopharmaceutical company.

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

The takeover is valued at approximately $2.25 billion, including $1.05 billion in cash upfront. In addition, Peloton shareholders will be eligible to receive $1.15 billion, contingent on future sales milestones.

“Merck is recognized as a leader in cancer research and shares our commitment to accelerating the development of candidates targeting HIF-2α to help patients with advanced cancers and other diseases,” Peloton CEO John A. Josey said. “We are proud to have advanced PT2977 to this stage of development and believe that Merck is well suited to build upon the progress our company has made.”

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019.

Covington & Burling LLP will act as the legal adviser and Credit Suisse as financial adviser to Merck. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati will act as the legal adviser and Centerview Partners as financial adviser to Peloton.