By Dave Sebastian

 

Merck & Co. has agreed to buy Acceleron Pharma Inc. for $11.5 billion, bolstering the pharmaceutical giant's rare-disease business.

The deal values Acceleron at $180 a share in cash, the companies said Thursday. The Wall Street Journal on Monday reported that the companies were nearing a deal.

The deal is one of Merck's biggest and represents a bet on treatments for respiratory and blood diseases that Acceleron specializes in. Acceleron's crown jewel is an experimental drug for pulmonary arterial hypertension, a disease caused by high pressure in the blood vessels leading from the heart to the lungs.

The companies expect the deal to close in the fourth quarter.

 

Write to Dave Sebastian at dave.sebastian@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 30, 2021 07:19 ET (11:19 GMT)

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