As a world leading biopharma company, Merck has announced to acquire one of Bavaria’s top players in immunotherapies, Rigontec for €115 million ($137 million) in up-front cash and up to €349 million ($416 million) in payments tied to achieving clinical, development, regulatory, and commercial milestones.
Rigontec not only holds a leading position in immunotherapies for cancer patients but is also a pioneer in accessing the retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) pathway, part of the innate immune system, to induce both immediate and long-term anti-tumor immunity. It was founded in 2014 and raised nearly €30 million ($35.8 million) from a host of VCs, including Boehringer’s Venture Fund, Forbion Capital Partners, High-Tech Gründerfonds, Wellington Partners Life Sciences and MP Healthcare Venture Management.
This acquisition is part of Merck’s strategy to improve the treatment of advanced cancers and strengthens its position in this field.
“Rigontec’s immuno-oncology approach of engaging the innate immune system to safely eliminate cancer cells complements our strategy and our current pipeline,” Eric Rubin, M.D., VP of Early-Stage Development, Clinical Oncology, Merck Research Laboratories, said in a statement. “We are eager to build upon Rigontec’s science as we continue our efforts in bringing forward meaningful advances for patients with cancer.”
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