New Jersey-based biopharmaceutical company Merck announced this week plans to acquire Immune Design, a late-stage immunotherapy company with headquarters in San Francisco. Merck, which will act through a wholly-owned subsidiary company, will purchase a controlling portion of Immune Design equity for US$5.85 per share, for a total consideration of approximately $300mn.
Merck will acquire Immune Design’s next generation in vivo treatments for late-stage oncological health issues, which are aimed at boosting the human body’s immune system. The company's proprietary technologies, GLAAS and ZVex, are engineered to activate the immune system's natural ability to generate and/or expand antigen-specific cytotoxic immune cells to fight cancer and other chronic 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," said Dr. Roger M. Perlmutter, president, Merck Research Laboratories. “This acquisition builds upon Merck’s industry-leading programs that harness the power of the immune system to prevent and treat disease.”
“Merck has a rich history of discovery and innovation and a strong track record of developing meaningful therapeutics and vaccines,” said Dr. Carlos Paya, president and chief executive officer, Immune Design. “We believe this agreement creates shareholder value by positioning our technologies and capabilities for long-term success with a leading, research-driven biopharmaceutical company.”