Merck to buy Idenix for $3.85 billion

Drugmaker Merck & Co., said Monday morning that it will buy Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for about $3.85 billion.

The deal values Idenix at $24.50 per share.

Merck is based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., and has facilities in the Philadelphia region.

Idenix, which is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., focuses on making drugs to treat hepatitis C.

“Idenix has established a promising portfolio of hepatitis C candidates based on its expertise in nucleoside/nucleotide chemistry and prodrug technologies,” Dr. Roger Perlmutter, president of Merck Research Laboratories, said in a statement. “ Idenix’s investigational hepatitis C candidates complement our promising therapies in development and will help advance our work to develop a highly effective, once-daily, all oral, ribavirin-free, pan-genotypic regimen that has a duration of treatment as short as possible for millions of patients in need around the world.”