Sanofi (SNY) & Glaxo (GSK) start phase II study on their COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Merck (MRK) offers to buy Pandion Therapeutics for $1.85 billion
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(Bloomberg) -- Merck & Co. agreed to acquire Pandion Therapeutics Inc., a biotechnology company developing therapies for autoimmune diseases, for $1.85 billion.The agreement, worth $60 per share in cash, is at more than double the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company’s closing price Wednesday.Pandion’s potential treatment for ulcerative colitis and other autoimmune diseases, known as PT101, has completed a Phase 1a clinical trial that achieved its primary objective of safety and tolerability, the companies said in a statement.The planned purchase comes about three weeks after Merck named Robert M. Davis to succeed Kenneth Frazier as chief executive officer, and about a month after it ended its Covid-19 vaccine program.Pandion shares rose to just below the agreed price in premarket trading, with Merck up 0.5%.Under the terms of the deal, Merck will initiate a tender offer for Pandion shares via a subsidiary. The deal is expected to close in the first half of the year.Merck also recently agreed to buy VelosBio Inc. for $2.75 billion, moving to bolster its lineup of cancer therapies, and privately held biopharma company OncoImmune for an upfront $425 million to gain a potential therapy for severe Covid.(Updates with shares, deal terms, other deals in last three paragraphs)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.