Merck acquires EyeBio from Jeito Capital for $3bn

Published: 31-May-2024

The acquisition gives Merck access to the ophthalmology biotech company’s clinical and preclinical pipeline

Jeito Capital, a global independent private equity fund dedicated to biopharma, has entered into an agreement with Merck & Co — a science and technology conglomerate — that puts Merck in charge of Jeito’s portfolio company EyeBio. 

Under the terms of the arrangement, Merck & Co, through a subsidiary, will acquire all outstanding shares of Eyebio for up to USD $3bn.

 This includes an upfront payment of $1.3bn in cash and a further potential $1.7bn in developmental, regulatory and commercial milestone payments.

The closing of the proposed transaction will be subject to certain conditions, including the expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary conditions. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2024.


Who is EyeBio?

EyeBio is an ophthalmology biotechnology company developing a pipeline of clinical and preclinical stage candidates for the prevention and treatment of vision loss associated with retinal vascular leakage; a known risk factor for retinal disease.

Jeito first invested in EyeBio in February 2022, as co-lead investor of a $65m series A funding. In November 2023, Jeito participated again in EyeBio’s $65m extension of its series A financing, in line with Jeito’s refinancing strategy to support portfolio companies with a significant deployment of capital at every value milestone reached. 

These financing rounds were made alongside other major investors in the life sciences industry: SV Health Investors, Samsara BioCapital, MRL Ventures, Bain Capital Life Sciences, Omega Funds and Vertex Ventures HC.

As a leading investor, Jeito fruitfully collaborated with EyeBio’s outstanding management team and has been a driving force in the strategic development of the company that led to faster development timelines.

Co-Founder, President, and CEO of EyeBio Dr Guyer concluded: “The EyeBio team has successfully assembled a pipeline of novel candidates with the promise to provide new treatment options for patients with retinal disease. As a subsidiary of Merck, Eyebio will be well positioned to tap into the resources and infrastructure needed to support the clinical, regulatory and commercial development of these candidates and help bring them to patients worldwide.”

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