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Pappas Capital's VelosBio To Be Acquired By Merck In $2.75 Bln Cash Deal

Pappas Capital announced Thursday that that its portfolio company, VelosBio Inc., has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by a subsidiary of Merck (MRK) for $2.75 billion in cash, subject to customary adjustments.

VelosBio is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, developing first-in-class cancer therapies targeting receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 1 or ROR1.

The venture capital firm focused on advancing life sciences first invested in VelosBio in 2018 as part of the Company's $58 million Series A financing. Pappas Capital subsequently participated in the company's $137 million Series B financing in July 2020.

Pappas Managing Partner Kyle Rasbach has served as a VelosBio Board Observer, providing hands-on support and guidance on the development of VelosBio's investigational candidate (VLS-101).

VLS-101 is an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) targeting ROR1 that is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1 and a Phase 2 clinical trial for the treatment of patients with hematologic malignancies and solid tumors, respectively.

VelosBio is Pappas Ventures V's second exit this year. Curzion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a company co-founded by Pappas Capital, was acquired by Horizon Therapeutics plc in April 2020.

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