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Merck to buy Viralytics for $394 million

Staff Writer | February 21, 2018
Merck, through a subsidiary, will acquire Viralytics, an Australian publicly traded company focused on oncolytic immunotherapy treatments for a range of cancers by way of a scheme of arrangement for AUD 1.75 cash per Viralytics share.
Acquisition   Viralytics will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Merck
The proposed acquisition values the total issued shares in Viralytics at approximately AUD 502 million ($394 million). The cash consideration of AUD 1.75 per share represents a premium of 160% to the one month volume weighted average price (VWAP) of Viralytics shares.

On completion of the transaction, Viralytics will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Merck, and Merck will gain full rights to CAVATAK (CVA21), Viralytics’s investigational oncolytic immunotherapy.

CAVATAK is based on Viralytics’s proprietary formulation of an oncolytic virus (Coxsackievirus Type A21) that has been shown to preferentially infect and kill cancer cells.

The board of directors of Viralytics unanimously recommends that its company’s shareholders vote in favor of the scheme, subject to there being no superior proposal and an independent expert concluding that the scheme is in the best interest of the company’s shareholders.

It is the intention of Viralytics’s directors to vote all the shares of Viralytics held or controlled by them in favor of the scheme, subject to those same qualifications.

Merck and Viralytics anticipate the transaction will be implemented by the second quarter of 2018. Implementation of the transaction is subject to a Viralytics’s shareholder vote and customary regulatory approvals.