Merck to Buy Imago, Shares Gain

Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and Imago BioSciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: IMGO) today announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which Merck, through a subsidiary, will acquire Imago for $36.00 per share in cash for an approximate total equity value of $1.35 billion.

“We continue to invest in our pipeline with a focus on applying our unique capabilities to unlock the value of breakthrough science for the patients we serve,” said Merck CEO Robert M. Davis. “This acquisition of Imago augments our pipeline and strengthens our presence in the growing field of hematology.”

Imago is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing new medicines for the treatment of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) and other bone marrow diseases. Imago’s lead candidate bomedemstat (IMG-7289), an investigational orally available lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1) inhibitor, is currently being evaluated in multiple Phase 2 clinical trials for the treatment of essential thrombocythemia (ET), myelofibrosis (MF), and polycythemia vera (PV), in addition to other indications.

“This milestone is a testament to more than a decade of pioneering research by Imago scientists and the entire Imago team’s unwavering dedication to improving the lives of patients,” said Imago CEO Dr. Hugh Y. Rienhoff, Jr.. “This agreement leverages Merck’s industry-leading clinical development expertise to maximize the therapeutic potential of bomedemstat while providing important value for shareholders.”

MRK shares grabbed 40 cents to $104.62, while those for IMAGO more than doubled, leaping $18.12, or 104.1%, to $35.52.