Merck (NYSE: MRK) announced on Monday that it has decided to acquire ArQule (NASDAQ: ARQL) for USD 2.7 Billion. ArQule shares soared by 102.5% on Monday after the opening bell.
Under the agreements of the transaction, Merck will acquire ArQule for USD 20.00 per share in cash. ArQule will be merged into Merck and any remaining shares of common stock of Arqule will be canceled and converted.
ArQule is a biopharmaceutical company focused on kinase inhibitor discovery and development for the treatment of patients with cancer and other diseases.
ArQule’s lead investigational candidate, ARQ 531, is a novel, oral Burton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor currently in 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 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.”
“We are proud that Merck has recognized the contributions that ArQule, together with its scientific collaborators, has made to the field of precision medicine in oncology with ARQ 531 for the treatment of B-cell malignancies and with the rest of our clinical-stage pipeline,” said Paolo Pucci, Chief Executive Officer of ArQule. “With this agreement, ArQule’s pipeline will benefit from Merck’s vast capabilities and determined engagement to benefit the patients who we have always strived to serve.”
The transaction is expected to close early in the first quarter of 2020.