Merck & Co. to acquire immunotherapy developer cCAM Biotherapeutics for up to $605 million

July 28, 2015
Ref: Globes;StreetInsider;NJBIZ;Merck & Co.

Merck & Co. on Tuesday announced that it reached an agreement to purchase privately held drugmaker cCAM Biotherapeutics for as much as $605 million, boosting its immuno-oncology portfolio. Roger Perlmutter, president of Merck Research Laboratories, commented that "we continue to strengthen our portfolio of immunotherapeutic candidates through strategic collaborations and acquisitions."

Under the agreed terms, Merck will make an upfront payment of $95 million to cCAM, which is also eligible for up to $510 million in various milestones. The biopharmaceutical company's lead drug candidate is the investigational monoclonal antibody CM-24, which Merck said was demonstrated to enhance the cytotoxic activity of lymphocytes in tumour cell lines that express the immune checkpoint protein CEACAM1.

The therapy is currently in early-stage development for the treatment of several advanced or recurrent malignancies, including melanoma and non-small-cell lung, bladder, gastric, colorectal and ovarian cancers. Under the terms of the agreement, cCAM will continue the ongoing Phase I study as a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck.

Also on Tuesday, Merck reported that its second-quarter revenue fell by 11 percent to $9.8 billion, while net profit declined from $2 billion in the year-ago period to $687 million in the three months ended June 30.