Merck buys IOmet Pharma, expands Immuno-Oncology development program

Acquisition grows Merck’s oncology pre-clinical pipeline with novel IDO1 and TDO inhibitors

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Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed

Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, announced that it has acquired IOmet, a privately-held UK-based drug discovery company focused on the development of innovative medicines for the treatment of cancer, with a particular emphasis on the fields of cancer immunotherapy and cancer metabolism.

Under terms of the agreement, Merck, through a subsidiary, will acquire IOmet, including its comprehensive pre-clinical pipeline of IDO (indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase 1), TDO (tryptophan-2,3-dioxygenase), and dual-acting IDO/TDO inhibitors. Based on the transaction, IOmet will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck.

"By harnessing the power of the immune system, we are already witnessing great advancements in the treatment of cancer," said Dr Eric Rubin, vice president and therapeutic area head, oncology early-stage development, Merck Research Laboratories. He added, "The acquisition of IOmet is a further example of Merck's commitment to fully realizing the potential of this rapidly evolving field through our existing innovative portfolio as well as the acquisition of promising immunotherapeutic candidates."

"Merck's leadership in immuno-oncology and expertise in development combined with the potential of our IDO1 and TDO programs creates significant opportunity for us to advance the treatment of cancer," said Dr Alan Wise,CEO, IOmet. He added, "As a company we have benefited from proximity to world class life sciences research including the University of Dundee, an early stage collaborator with us on the IDO1 and TDO programs and from supportive shareholders including the Scottish Investment Bank. We now look forward to joining Merck and feel that this acquisition underscores the shared commitment we have to accelerating our programs to bring solutions to people who need them most."

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

 

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