By Cara Lombardo and Ben Dummett
Merck is in advanced talks to acquire Acceleron Pharma Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, in a move that would bolster the pharmaceutical giant’s rare-disease business.
The deal for Acceleron, which has a market value of around $11 billion, could be announced this week, assuming talks don’t fall apart, the people said.
Should a deal come together, it would be one of Merck’s (NYS:MRK) biggest and represent a bet on the treatments for the respiratory and blood diseases that Acceleron (NAS:XLRN) specializes in.
Merck appears to have beaten out other potential suitors for Acceleron including Bristol Myers Squibb Co., (NYS:BMY) which already owns a big stake in the company.