Merck agreed to acquire cCAM Biotherapeutics, a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel cancer immunotherapies. 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.

“We continue to strengthen our portfolio of immunotherapeutic candidates through strategic collaborations and acquisitions,” said Roger M. Perlmutter, M.D., Ph.D., 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. The monoclonal antibody, which targets the immune checkpoint protein CEACAM1, is currently being evaluated in a Phase I study for the treatment of advanced or recurrent malignancies, including melanoma, non-small-cell lung, bladder, gastric, colorectal, and ovarian cancers. Israel-based cCAM Biotherapeutics will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck and continue to work on the development of CM-24 in its ongoing Phase I trial. 

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