US drug manufacturer Merck & Co has agreed to buy Australian biotech business Viralytics for $394m in order to expand its drug pipeline.
Merck, one of the leaders in cancer immunotherapy development, will pay $1.38 per share for the Sydney-based biotech company, which uses viruses to infect and kill cancer cells.
That represents a premium of 160% to the average stock price over the past month.
Viralytics represents just one of many acquisitions made by Merck in recent years.
In 2014 Merck & Co. announced its acquisition of Idenix Pharmaceutic for approximately $3.85bn and the Swiss biotechnology company OncoEthix for up to $375m.
In 2016 Merck announced the acquisition of IOmet Pharma and also bought Afferent Pharmaceuticals for $1.25bn. And last year, the company announced it would acquire Rigontec for $554m.