Harpoon Therapeutics set to be acquired by Merck for approximately $680m
Merck (known as MSD outside of the US and Canada) and Harpoon Therapeutics have announced that they have entered a definitive agreement for Merck, through a subsidiary, to acquire Harpoon for an approximate total equity value of $680m or $23 per share.
Harpoon has developed a portfolio of T-cell engagers using the company’s Tri-specific T-cell Activating Construct (TriTAC) platform, which is designed to direct a patient’s immune cells to kill tumour cells.
Julie Eastland, president and chief executive officer of Harpoon Therapeutics, commented: “At Harpoon, we have always been committed to advancing our cancer immunotherapy candidates to improve the lives of patients. With Merck’s recognised leadership in oncology clinical development and global commercial footprint, our lead candidate, HPN328, is well positioned moving forward. The talented, passionate and dedicated Harpoon team has made great progress over the past eight years in leveraging our research platform to develop an innovative suite of candidates, and we are pleased that Merck has recognised the significant potential of our pipeline. I want to personally thank all of our key stakeholders, including our entire team at Harpoon, trial participants, physicians and our shareholders, who have supported us.”
Dr Dean Y Li, president of Merck Research Laboratories, added: “At Merck, we continue to enhance our oncology pipeline through strategic acquisitions that complement our current portfolio and advance breakthrough science to help address the needs of people with cancer worldwide. This agreement reflects the creativity and commitment of scientists and clinical development teams at Harpoon. We look forward to further evaluating HPN328 in innovative combinations with other pipeline candidates.”