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MSD buys Peloton Therapeutics in deal worth $2.1 billion

Published on 22/05/19 at 09:08am

MSD has agreed to acquire all outstanding shares in Peloton Therapeutics in a deal worth up to $2.1 billion.

US firm MSD will pay Texas-based biotech Peloton Therapeutics $1 billion upfront and a further $1.15 billion based on the achievement of regulatory and sales milestones.

The acquisition comes as MSD seeks to boost its oncology pipeline with the addition of Peloton’s lead candidate cancer drug PT2977.

PT2977, an oral HIF-2 alpha inhibitor in late-stage development for renal cell carcinoma (RCC), is also being tested in a Phase 2 trial in von Hippel-Lindau disease-associated RCC, a mid-stage study in combination with Exelixis' cabometyx (cabozantinib) in metastatic RCC, and a Phase I/II trial in glioblastoma multiforme.  

“This acquisition exemplifies Merck’s strategy to pursue novel therapeutic candidates based on exceptionally promising and innovative research,” said Dr. Roger M. Perlmutter, president, Merck Research Laboratories.

“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.”

“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,” said John A. Josey, Ph.D., Peloton’s Chief Executive Officer.

“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.”

Louis Goss

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