American pharmaceutical giant Merck has today inked a $1.35bn (£1.14bn) deal for cancer drug developer Imago BioSciences.
The offer of $36 (£30.4bn) a share represents a nearly 107 per cent premium on the company’s last closing price.
The deal is intended to bolster Merck’s portfolio of blood disorder treatments, with onlookers expecting the company’s blockbuster cancer drug Keytruda to lose key patents in 2028.
“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,” said Robert M. Davis, president and CEO of Merck.
“This acquisition of Imago augments our pipeline and strengthens our presence in the growing field of haematology.”
It comes as AstraZeneca doubles down on its oncology divisions as Covid-19 contracts dry up.
Merck, which produced its own Covid-19 vaccine and pill, was reportedly in talks to buy cancer-focused biotech Seagen Inc over the summer for nearly $40bn (£33.8bn), but no deal has been announced.
The Big Pharma firm has been on a spending spree over the past few years, last year snapping up Acceleron Pharma for $11.5bn (£9.7bn) as it sought access to experimental therapy for treating a type of high blood pressure.