Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Exelead (Indianapolis), a biopharma contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO). Not to be confused with the similarly named Merck & Co., the German company will pay roughly $780 million in the acquisition.
Exelead specializes in creating lipid nanoparticle and pegylated formulations. Exelead has fared well during the pandemic. mRNA-based therapies are in high demand, and Pfizer tapped the company to help make its COVID-19 vaccine. (Additionally, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany has supplied lipids to bolster Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine production.)
“Novel modalities, particularly mRNA, present a highly attractive business opportunity as pharma and biotech pipelines are increasingly building on them beyond COVID-19,” said Belén Garijo, CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in a press release.
The acquisition of Exelead will allow the…