Merck Enhances Immuno-Oncology Portfolio with Acquisition of cCAM Biotherapeutics


July 28, 2015 5:45 am ET

KENILWORTH, N.J. & MISGAV, Israel–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and
cCAM Biotherapeutics announced today that the companies have signed a
definitive agreement under which Merck will acquire cCAM
Biotherapeutics, a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on
the discovery and development of novel cancer immunotherapies.

Under terms of 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.

“We continue to strengthen our portfolio of immunotherapeutic candidates
through strategic collaborations and acquisitions,” said Dr. Roger M.
Perlmutter, president, Merck Research Laboratories. “The acquisition of
cCAM supports our objective to advance the care of patients with cancer
by stimulating tumor-directed immune responses.”

The acquisition provides Merck with several early immunotherapy
candidates including cCAM Biotherapeutics’ lead pipeline candidate,
CM-24 – a novel monoclonal antibody (mAb) targeting the immune
checkpoint protein CEACAM1 that is currently being evaluated in a Phase
1 study for the treatment of 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 1
clinical trial. cCam was originally established under the Israeli Office
of Chief Scientist’s incubators program.

“Merck’s excellence and leadership in immuno-oncology provides a strong
foundation for advancing CM-24, for the treatment of people with
cancer,” said Pini Orbach, Ph.D., Chairman of the Board, cCAM
Biotherapeutics and Head of Pharma at Arkin Holdings. “This is a
significant achievement for cCAM Biotherapeutics, as well as a vote of
confidence in the Israeli innovative biotech industry as a whole.”

About CEACAM1 and CM-24

CM-24 is a humanized monoclonal antibody directed against CEACAM1, an
immune checkpoint protein belonging to the Human CEA (Carcino-Embryonic
Antigen) protein family. Evidence has shown that CEACAM1 is expressed on
tumor lymphocytes, and is up-regulated in several cancer types.
Preclinical studies have shown evidence that CM-24 enhances the
cytotoxic activity of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) against
various CEACAM1-positive tumor cell lines. CM-24 is being developed for
multiple oncological indications according to the expression pattern of
its target protein.

About cCAM Biotherapeutics

Founded in 2010 and led by Tehila Ben-Moshe, Ph.D., cCAM is a
biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of
novel immunotherapies to treat cancer. Its lead product, CM-24, is a
first-in-class humanized anti-CEACAM1 monoclonal antibody undergoing
Phase 1 clinical trials. 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. Main and equal Investors in the Company
include: Arkin Holdings, OrbiMed and Pontifax. For more information,
please visit

Merck’s Focus on Cancer

Our goal is to translate breakthrough science into innovative oncology
medicines to help people with cancer worldwide. At Merck Oncology,
helping people fight cancer is our passion and supporting accessibility
to our cancer medicines is our commitment. Our focus is on pursuing
research in immuno-oncology and we are accelerating every step in the
journey – from lab to clinic – to potentially bring new hope to people
with cancer. For more information about our oncology clinical trials,

About Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA

Today’s Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be
well. Merck is known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada.
Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and
animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than
140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also
demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through
far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information,
and connect with us on Twitter,
and YouTube.

Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA

This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (the
“company”) includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of
the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation
Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs
and expectations of the company’s management and are subject to
significant risks and uncertainties. There can be no guarantees with
respect to pipeline products that the products will receive the
necessary regulatory approvals or that they will prove to be
commercially successful. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or
risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially
from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry
conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest
rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of
pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the
United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost
containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained
by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development,
including obtaining regulatory approval; the company’s ability to
accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties
or delays; financial instability of international economies and
sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of the company’s patents
and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to
litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any
forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information,
future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results
to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking
statements can be found in the company’s 2014 Annual Report on Form 10-K
and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (

Merck Media Relations:
Pamela Eisele, 267-305-3558
An Phan, 908-255-6325
Merck Investor Relations:
Justin Holko, 908-740-1879
cCAM Investor/Media Relations:
Tsipi Haitovsky, +972-525-989892

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