Merck’s six-year deal strategy could deliver a blockbuster if hypertension drug is OK’d this month

With an FDA decision expected next week for its blood pressure drug sotatercept, Merck is hoping that its bundle of acquisitions in recent years will lead to multiple approvals and late-stage clinical wins.

The regulator is set to decide whether to approve the pulmonary arterial hypertension drug known as sotatercept by March 26. If approved, the drug could generate $1.9 billion in sales in 2025, according to Leerink Partners analyst Daina Graybosch.

The subcutaneous treatment came to Merck by way of its $11.5 billion acquisition of Acceleron in 2021.

Sunil Patel

“We viewed [Acceleron] as a great Merck-type company to own, especially with their legacy of R&D,” Sunil Patel, Merck’s head of corporate development and business development & licensing, said in an interview.

For the past few years, the pharma giant has been amassing help from external biotechs to broaden its pipeline…
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