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Merck: acquires EyeBio for $1.3bn

( - Merck announced on Wednesday that it had completed the acquisition of EyeBio for an initial sum of $1.
3bn, a transaction that will enable it to diversify its activities by gaining a foothold in the ophthalmology market.

EyeBio, an unlisted biotech company, specializes in the prevention and treatment of vision loss associated with retinal vascular effusion, a condition at the root of many eye diseases.

Its lead drug candidate, Restoret, is a tri-specific antibody that has achieved positive clinical results in a phase 1b/2a trial in diabetic macular edema and age-related macular degeneration.

A phase 2b/3 trial in diabetic macular edema is due to start in H2 2024.

In addition to the initial cash payment of $1.3bn, the terms of the transaction call for the payment of a further $1.7bn upon the achievement of certain regulatory and commercial milestones, which could bring the total acquisition to $3bn.

The acquisition, which is expected to close in Q3, will result in Merck taking a charge of $1.3bn, or $0.50 per share, in its accounts upon completion.

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