Merck (NYSE: MRK) has acquired a Swiss cancer drug development company, OncoEthix, for $110 million.
OncoEthix is developing an oral bromodomain inhibitor, OTX015, which is in Phase 1b studies for the treatment of hematological malignancies and advanced solid tumors. The deal could include additional milestone payments of up to $265 million depending on certain clinical and regulatory milestones.
The target was backed by $30 million in venture capital from investors including Index Ventures, SV Life Sciences, Deavour Vision and Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners.
Merck, headquartered in Kenilworth, New Jersey, is a health care company that develops medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. Earlier in December the company agreed to buy Cubist Pharmaceuticals for $8.4 billion to grow in the antibiotics space. In June, Merck agreed to pay $3.85 billion for hepatitis C treatment developer Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc.
There have been many deals for companies that develop cancer treatments, In July, Genentech agreed to acquire Seragon Pharmaceuticals Inc., which develops a treatment for breast cancer, for $725 million. In June, Celsion Corp. (Nasdaq: CLSN) agreed to pay $14 million for cancer drug developer Egen Inc.
For more on cancer treatments and M&A, see New Cancer Drugs Spark Deal Possibilities.