MERCK TO BUY CANCER DRUG MAKER PELOTON THERAPEUTICS FOR $2.25 BILLION USD

Merck has agreed to buy Dallas-based Peloton Therapeutics for $2.25 billion USD. $1.05 billion of that will be done in upfront case.

Why this matters: Big Pharma is making big bets in the area of oncology. There has been a lot of M&A activity as of late including blockbuster deals such as BSM/Celgene and Eli Lilly/Loxo Oncology.

Behind the story: “Peloton was due to go public this week and raise $150 million or more to bankroll a late-phase trial of HIF-2α inhibitor in metastatic renal cell carcinoma patients previously treated with at least one checkpoint inhibitor, such as Merck’s Keytruda. But a late offer from Merck has persuaded the biotech to switch lanes, taking a buyout that represents a premium on the IPO terms even before milestones are factored in.”—Nick Paul Taylor, FierceBiotech