Global drug giant Merck is investing in Australian biopharmaceutical Bionomics

by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Global drug giant Merck & Co has made a strategic investment in an Australia biopharmaceutical company Bionomics, which works on the discovery and development of treatment for cancer and diseases of the central nervous system.

Merck, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, is buying 21,659,230 million shares at $0.5938, a 29% premium to Bionomics’ closing price on Wednesday, a total investment of about $12.8 million.

The news sent Bionomics shares more than 18% higher to $0.545.

The deal builds on a collaboration agreement signed in July 2013 to focus on the discovery and development of small molecule drug candidates for the treatment of chronic pain.

Dr Iain Dukes at Merck Research Laboratories says his company is impressed with the progress made by Bionomics.

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