May 20, 2019 / 11:48 AM / a year ago

CPPIB buys partial Keytruda royalty interest from British charity LifeArc

May 20 (Reuters) - Canada Pension Plan Investment Board said it had paid about $1.3 billion for a part of British charity LifeArc’s royalty interest from the sale of Merck & Co Inc’s blockbuster cancer immunotherapy, Keytruda.

Canada’s largest pension fund said the deal was an ideal investment for its global intellectual property program as Keytruda, an immunotherapy treatment for different cancer types, has shown strong sales growth worldwide.

Keytruda, which works by increasing the ability of the patient’s immune system to help detect and fight tumor cells, is approved for use in 85 countries and the drug is expected to bring more than $10 billion for Merck this year, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The deal will make LifeArc, which works to getting early lab-based findings to patients, one of the Britain’s leading medical research charities by size of investment, the pension fund said. (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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