Merck to acquire Imago BioSciences for $1.35B

Acquisition expands Merck’s growing hematology portfolio

Merck announced on Monday that it will acquire California-based Imago BioSciences for $1.35 billion.

Under the terms of the agreement, Rahway-based Merck, through a subsidiary, will initiate a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Imago. Upon the successful completion of the tender offer, Merck’s acquisition subsidiary will be merged into Imago.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023.

Imago is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing new medicines for the treatment of myeloproliferative neoplasms and other bone marrow diseases. Imago’s lead candidate, bomedemstat, an investigational orally available lysine-specific demethylase 1 inhibitor, is currently being evaluated in multiple Phase 2 clinical trials for the treatment of essential thrombocythemia, myelofibrosis and polycythemia vera, in addition to other indications.

“We continue to invest in our pipeline with a focus on applying our unique capabilities to unlock the value of breakthrough science for the patients we serve,” Robert Davis, CEO and president of Merck, stated. “This acquisition of Imago augments our pipeline and strengthens our presence in the growing field of hematology.”

“This milestone is a testament to more than a decade of pioneering research by Imago scientists and the entire Imago team’s unwavering dedication to improving the lives of patients,” Dr. Hugh Rienhoff Jr., founder and CEO of Imago, said. “This agreement leverages Merck’s industry-leading clinical development expertise to maximize the therapeutic potential of bomedemstat while providing important value for shareholders. I would also like to acknowledge with gratitude the early investors — Blackstone Life Sciences, Frazier Healthcare, Omega Funds, Amgen Ventures and MRL Ventures Fund — who placed their faith in Imago beginning in 2014, as well as the outstanding study investigators and their patients who have made the clinical development of bomedemstat possible.”