Merck spinoff Organon completes acquisition of Forendo Pharma

Expands women’s health pipeline with novel candidates targeting endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome

Merck spinoff Organon completed its previously announced acquisition of Finland-based Forendo Pharma, according to a Monday announcement.

The deal was first announced in November.

Forendo, a clinical-stage drug development company focused on novel treatments in women’s health, is pioneering the science of intracrinology, addressing disease through a novel, tissue-specific approach. Its lead clinical compound is an investigational, potentially first-in-class oral 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1, or HSD17B1, inhibitor in early clinical development for endometriosis, being evaluated for its potential effect on endometriotic lesions.

Endometriosis is a common and chronic condition that affects up to 1 in 10 women of reproductive age, causes abdominal pain and is associated with infertility.

“Despite the high prevalence of endometriosis, current treatment options are not adequately addressing the painful and challenging symptoms of women living with this disorder,” said Dr. Sandra Milligan, head of research and development at Organon. “Through our acquisition of Forendo, we hope to bring innovation to this therapeutic area and enable future treatment options — in line with our continued focus on building a robust pipeline that addresses a broad spectrum of conditions impacting women.”

Consideration for the transaction includes a $75 million upfront payment, assumption of approximately $9 million of Forendo debt, payments upon the achievement of certain development and regulatory milestones of up to $270 million and commercial milestones payments of up to $600 million, which together could amount to total consideration of $954 million.

Moelis & Co. acted as exclusive financial adviser to Forendo.