The identity of the mysterious Cambridge-Massachusetts-based biotechnology-based big pharmaceutical company Acceleron has yet to be confirmed, but US media points to Merck / MSD or Bristol Myers Squibb.
Acceleron is focused on the research, development and commercialization of treatments for pulmonary and hematologic diseases with drugs that engage the “TGF-beta superfamily,” involved in the body’s ability to regulate cell growth and repair.
Merger rumors began late last week when it was reported that a major pharmaceutical group was about to accept a $ 180 per share takeover bid that would value Acceleron at $ 11 billion. . This report suggested that BMS – which owns 11.5% of Acceleron’s shares – as the most likely buyer, but later reports in a US newspaper named Merck / MSD as the mysterious buyer.
The company has marketed a drug, Reblozyl (luspatercept-aamt), approved in the US, EU and Canada for the treatment of anemia in certain blood disorders. The drug is part of a long-standing global collaboration with Celgene, now part of Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS).
Reblozyl sales have been growing since its launch in 2019 – BMS declared $ 240 million in the first half of 2021, with Acceleron claiming its share of $ 48 million.
However, US media reports that the ‘jewel in the crown of Acceleron’ is actually sotatercept, a first-class therapeutic fusion protein that recently produced positive results in the PULSAR Phase 2 clinical trial in patients. with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).
PAH is already a multibillion dollar market – in 2017, Johnson & Johnson paid Swiss drug maker Actelion $ 30 billion, including its PAH drugs, while PAH drugs went Collectively achieved $ 1.7 billion in global sales in the first six months of this year.
Now might be the perfect time to switch to Acceleron, as the company plans several Phase 3 trials to support its long-term vision of establishing sotatercept as the lead therapy for patients with PAH at all stages of the disease.
In pulmonology, Acceleron also has an early stage candidate, ACE-1334, which is slated to move into Phase 1b / Phase 2, focused on interstitial lung disease associated with systemic sclerosis (SSc-ILD) later this year.
The FDA awarded sotatercept the breakthrough designation and the EMA granted it priority status in recognition of its potential to treat the underlying disease process of PAH.