In­spired by ASH da­ta, Mer­ck­'s Roger Perl­mut­ter swoops in with a $2.75B ROR1 buy­out aimed at beef­ing up the can­cer pipeline

Roger Perl­mut­ter has a few more moves to make be­fore he ex­its the top job in Mer­ck R&D.

The phar­ma gi­ant is buy­ing Velos­Bio for $2.75 bil­lion in cash, grab­bing a promis­ing ROR1 an­ti­body drug con­ju­gate that is now in Phase I and Phase II stud­ies for hema­to­log­ic ma­lig­nan­cies and sol­id tu­mors.

Perl­mut­ter, who will leave at the end of the year af­ter build­ing Keytru­da in­to a mon­ster drug fran­chise, clear­ly likes the da­ta he’s seen from the biotech. And the on­col­o­gy group sees plen­ty of op­por­tu­ni­ties for the rest of the pipeline at Velos­Bio, which raised a crossover round of $137 mil­lion just a few months ago in an ap­par­ent move to­ward an IPO.

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