Mer­ck snaps up a Ger­man im­muno-on­col­o­gy up­start in a $603M bolt-on deal

Mu­nich-based Rigontec is de­liv­er­ing a sol­id re­turn for its ven­ture back­ers. Mer­ck $MRK has struck a rare deal to buy the biotech for $150 mil­lion in cash and an­oth­er $453 mil­lion in mile­stones, snap­ping up a 3-year-old fledg­ling that raised just €30 mil­lion to get to this point.

For Mer­ck it’s an­oth­er ex­am­ple of how Roger Perl­mut­ter likes to aug­ment the work be­ing done around its PD-1 su­per­star Keytru­da with the oc­ca­sion­al add-on. It’s a small deal for the phar­ma gi­ant, and he’s clear­ly im­pressed with the po­ten­tial the Bonn Uni­ver­si­ty spin­out has in ac­ti­vat­ing RIG-I as a key path­way in the in­nate im­mune sys­tem.

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Vice President

Alexandria Real Estate Equities

San Francisco, CA, USA