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What Happened Lately in the Biotech Sector

Merck MSD acquired Imago BioSciences and expects the deal to close in the first quarter of 2023. Novo Nordisk will invest €726 million (DKK 5.4 billion) in the expansion of its facility in Bagsværd, north of Copenhagen. The plans also include the construction of a new plant located at the existing facility, the pharma lab announced Tuesday, November 22nd, in a statement.

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Merck MSD has acquired U.S. biopharmaceutical company Imago BioSciences for $1.35 billion, the lab said in a statement Monday, November 21st.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023, according to information released by Merck MSD. Imago BioSciences is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel drugs for the treatment of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) and other bone marrow diseases.

Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisor to Merck MSD in this transaction and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher acted as legal advisor. Centerview Partners acted as financial advisor to Imago BioSciences and Latham and Watkins as its legal advisor.

Imago BioSciences’ lead candidate, bomedemstat (IMG-7289), an investigational orally available lysine-specific lysine demethylase 1 (LSD1) inhibitor, is currently being evaluated in multiple Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of essential thrombocythemia (ET), myelofibrosis (MF) and polycythemia vera (PV), in addition to other indications.

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Merck MSD expects the deal to close in the first quarter of 2023

LSD1, discovered in 2004, is a member of a group of epigenetic proteins that regulate gene expression through chemical modifications of RNA and DNA proteins. LSD1 regulates the maturation of bone marrow stem cells and is essential for the differentiation of progenitor cells into mature megakaryocytes and granulocytes and the production of blood cells.

Given the role LSD1 plays in malignant blood cell function, targeting LSD1 for the treatment of blood cancers offers a new mechanism for the treatment of diseases associated with high morbidity and mortality.

“We continue to invest in our portfolio with a focus on applying our unique capabilities to unlock the value of cutting-edge science for the patients we serve,” explains Robert Davis, president of Merck MSD. “This acquisition of Imago BioSciences increases our portfolio and strengthens our presence in the growing field of hematology,” he adds.

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Novo Nordisk invests €726 million in Copenhagen plant

Novo Nordisk will invest DKK 5.4 billion (€726 million) in the expansion of its facility in Bagsværd, north of Copenhagen.

The plans also include the construction of a new plant located at the existing facility, the pharma lab announced Tuesday, November 22nd, in a statement.

“The investment will establish additional research and development (R&D) capacity for the manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) to supply our global clinical trials. These expansions will provide capacity to develop Novo Nordisk’s future portfolio of oral and injectable products,” the pharma detailed in its release.

Novo Nordisk expects to create 160 new jobs as a result of its Copenhagen project

“This investment to expand our clinical API capacity in Bagsværd is an important step in ensuring the continued progress of our development pipeline; increasing our R&D API capacity will be a key factor in bringing new innovations to market and meeting future demand from our patients,” the company explains in the statement.

Novo Nordisk is a pharmaceutical company, founded in 1923. Bagsværd’s project comes after the company announced last September that it had acquired U.S.-based Forma Therapeutics for $20 per share in cash, representing a total equity value of $1.1 billion.

Forma Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on transforming the lives of patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) and rare blood disorders.

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(Featured image by Myriams-Fotos via Pixabay)

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Eva Wesley is an experienced journalist, market trader, and financial executive. Driven by excellence and a passion to connect with people, she takes pride in writing think pieces that help people decide what to do with their investments. A blockchain enthusiast, she also engages in cryptocurrency trading. Her latest travels have also opened her eyes to other exciting markets, such as aerospace, cannabis, healthcare, and telcos.