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Merck to acquire Mass. pharma company for nearly $4B

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Signage at Merck's Whitehouse Station headquarters.
Signage at Merck's Whitehouse Station headquarters. - ()

Whitehouse Station-based Merck will acquire Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $24.50 per share in cash, the two companies announced Monday.

The transaction, which values the purchase of Idenix at approximately $3.85 billion, was approved by the board of directors at both companies.

“Idenix has established a promising portfolio of hepatitis C candidates based on its expertise in nucleoside/nucleotide chemistry and prodrug technologies,” Dr. Roger Perlmutter, president, Merck Research Laboratories, said in a statement. “Idenix’s investigational hepatitis C candidates complement our promising therapies in development and will help advance our work to develop a highly effective, once-daily, all oral, ribavirin-free, pan-genotypic regimen that has a duration of treatment as short as possible for millions of patients in need around the world.”

According to the announcement, Idenix, based in Cambridge, Mass., develops medicines for treating human viral diseases, primarily focused in developing the next-generation of therapeutic drugs to treat hepatitis C.

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Merck has established a strong legacy of leadership and innovation in treating hepatitis C,” Ron Renaud, Idenix’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “This agreement creates shareholder value by positioning Idenix’s strong portfolio of candidates for future success with a leading healthcare company with the experience and commitment to develop fixed-dosed combinations with the potential to impact the global burden of hepatitis C.”

Credit Suisse, the companies said, was as the financial advisor to Merck and Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP was its legal advisor.  Centerview Partners was the financial advisor to Idenix and Sullivan & Cromwell was its legal advisor.

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Emily Bader

Emily Bader

Emily Bader is the copy and web editor at NJBIZ. She is a Brielle, N.J. native and a Rutgers University alum. You can contact her at emilyb@njbiz.com or @emilybader on Twitter.

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