Merck To Acquire cCAM Biotherapeutics

Merck & Co. Inc. has agreed to acquire cCAM Biotherapeutics, a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of l cancer immunotherapies in a potential valued of $605 million. Under the agreement, Merck, through a subsidiary, will acquire all outstanding stock of cCAM in exchange for an upfront payment of $95 million in cash. In addition, cCAM shareholders of record are eligible to receive a total of up to $510 million associated with the attainment of certain clinical development, regulatory, and commercial milestones. The transaction is subject to certain closing conditions. ,/p>

The acquisition provides Merck with several early immunotherapy candidates, including cCAM Biotherapeutics' lead pipeline candidate, CM-24, a monoclonal antibody (mAb) targeting the immune checkpoint protein, CEACAM1. The drug is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1 study for treating advanced or recurrent malignancies, including melanoma, non-small-cell lung, bladder, gastric, colorectal, and ovarian cancers. Based on the transaction, cCAM Biotherapeutics, domiciled in Israel, will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck and continue to advance the development of CM-24 in its ongoing Phase I clinical trial. cCam was originally established under the Israeli Office of Chief Scientist's incubators program.

CM-24 is a humanized monoclonal antibody directed against CEACAM1, an immune checkpoint protein belonging to the human CEA (Carcino-Embryonic Antigen) protein family. CM-24 is being developed for multiple oncological indications according to the expression pattern of its target protein. Founded in 2010 and led by Tehila Ben-Moshe, Ph.D., cCAM is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of immunotherapies to treat cancer. Its lead product, CM-24 is based on the research of Professor Gal Markel, Head of Research, Ella Institute of Melanoma, at Sheba Academic Medical Center Hospital, Israel.

Source: Merck & Co. Inc.

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