Merck’s $11.5bn Acceleron Buy Partially Fills Future Keytruda Revenue Gap
Deal Expands Existing Cardiovascular Portfolio
The company announced the biggest biopharma M&A deal of the year so far, but Merck will need more large deals to manage declining sales when its top-selling product faces biosimilars in 2028.
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As a first-line treatment for anemia in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes, Reblozyl is approved for indications that will account for 75%-80% of the $4bn-plus in sales Bristol has forecast by 2029.
Merck Research Laboratories president Dean Li said there is no ideal product mix for the company, but noted cancer drugs will remain a priority given the groundwork Keytruda laid for Merck in oncology.
The drug’s success in the Phase III COMMANDS trial could double its addressable market, though some analysts said durability remains a question.