Merck completes $2.7bn acquisition of ArQule

Merck completes $2.7bn acquisition of ArQule

Merck has completed its $2.7 billion acquisition of ArQule, a Massachusetts-based biopharma focused on kinase inhibitor discovery and development.

It has successfully acquired the outstanding shares of common stock of ArQule via a subsidiary. ArQule has now become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Merck.

The deal provides Merck with access to ArQule’s lead investigational candidate, ARQ 531, a novel, oral Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor.

The candidate is currently in a Phase 2 dose expansion study for the treatment of B-cell malignancies.

“ArQule’s focus on precision medicine has yielded multiple clinical-stage oral kinase inhibitors that have novel and important properties,” said Roger M. Perlmutter, President of Merck Research Laboratories.

“This acquisition strengthens Merck’s pipeline with the addition of these strategic assets including, most notably, ARQ 531, a compelling candidate for the treatment of B-cell malignancies.”