Merck is strengthening its oncology pipeline with the $2.75 billion acquisition of San Diego biopharma, VelosBio.
VelosBio is a privately held clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to developing first-in-class cancer therapies targeting receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 1 (ROR1).
Its lead investigational candidate is VLS-101, an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) targeting ROR1 that is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1 and a Phase 2 clinical trial for the treatment of patients with hematologic malignancies and solid tumours, respectively.
“At Merck, we continue to bolster our growing oncology pipeline with strategic acquisitions that both complement our current portfolio and strengthen our long-term growth potential,” said Dr Roger M. Perlmutter, President of Merck Research Laboratories.
“Pioneering work by VelosBio scientists has yielded VLS-101, which in early studies has provided notable evidence of activity in heavily pretreated patients with refractory haematological malignancies, including mantel cell lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.”
The closing of the transaction is expected by the end of 2020.