Merck to buy $1bln equity stake in Seattle Genetics

SectorFinancial Markets

Merck & Co Inc will buy $1 billion worth of equity stake in Seattle Genetics and pay $600 million upfront to co-develop and sell the smaller drugmaker's cancer therapy, the companies said on Monday.Shares of Seattle Genetics rose 7.4% to $161 in premarket trade, while Merck was largely unchanged.Merck, which already boasts of blockbuster cancer drug Keytruda, has been striking deals to strengthen the portfolio, agreeing in December to buy ArQule Inc in a $2.7 billion transaction to tap into the company's experimental blood cancer therapy that targets genetic mutations.Targeted cancer therapies are seen as a potential alternative to chemotherapy that has struggled with side effects, and drugmakers have been spending heavily to scoop up companies developing them.Gilead Sciences on Sunday said it would buy biotech company Immunomedics Inc for more...