Merck Is Investing $1 billion In Seattle Genetics


Merck said it is buying five million shares, or 2.9% of shares outstanding, at about $200 a share.

Merck said it is investing $1 billion in Seattle Genetics as the companies team up to continue developing and selling Seattle Genetics’ breast-cancer treatments. (Shares of Seattle Genetics closed 2.5% higher to $149.97 Friday) Seattle Genetics shares rose 2.6% in premarket trading Monday. Seattle Genetics also gets a $600 million upfront payment from Merck and is eligible for milestone-related payments of up to $2.6 billion.

Seattle Genetics currently has ladiratuzumab vedotin, a drug in Phase 2 clinical trials for breast cancer and other tumors. The thought would be to evaluate the drug as a monotherapy in combination with Merck’s Keytruda.

The two also made a deal in which Seattle Genetics granted Merck an exclusive license to sell the Tukysa drug for the treatment of breast cancers that test positive for a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and other regions outside the U.S., Canada and Europe. Seattle Genetics got a $125 million upfront payment from Merck for that one and is eligible for milestone-based payments of up to $65 million.

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Economics, Finance and Investing