Keeping in line with the biotech M&A frenzy seen for much of the year, Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) announced a deal Monday to buy Tilos Therapeutics.
Only recently, the pharma giant agreed to buy Peloton Therapeutics in a deal valued at up to $2.2 billion.
Merck struck an agreement to buy privately held Tilos, which develops therapies targeting the latent transforming growth factor — or TGT-beta — complex for treating cancer, fibrosis and autoimmune diseases, for up to $773 million, including an upfront payment as well as contingent milestone payments.
"Tilos has developed a compelling portfolio of candidates that employ a novel approach to modulating the potent signaling molecule TGF-beta by binding to latency-associated peptide, with potential applications across a range of disease indications," Dean Li, senior vice president for discovery and translational medicine at Merck Research Laboratories, said in a statement.
Why It's Important
TGF-beta inhibitors are antibodies that target a protein called latency-associated peptide, and could come in handy to break the in-built or acquired resistance to checkpoint inhibitors such as Merck's Keytruda. They are therefore termed immunotherapy boosters.
A TGF-beta inhibitor when paired with Keytruda can help a patient's immune system track a tumor it might have missed previously.
Merck shares were trading up slightly at $82.49 at the time of publication Monday.
The Week Ahead In Biotech: Conferences, PDUFA Dates And Clinical Trial Readouts
PolarityTE Shares Rally On Positive Readout From Skin Graft Study In Diabetic Foot Ulcers
See more from Benzinga
- The Week Ahead In Biotech: Conferences, PDUFA Dates And Clinical Trial Readouts
- Sanofi's Leadership Transition: What You Need To Know
- The Daily Biotech Pulse: ASCO Presentations From Roche, Celgene & More, Edwards Recommends Rejection Of Mini-Tender Offer
© 2019 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.