Merck buys animal health company Antelliq for $3.7 billion

View of the entrance to the Mission Bay office of pharmaceutical company Merck
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Merck (NYSE: MRK) agreed to buy Antelliq Group, a French provider of animal identification, tracing and monitoring solutions, from BC Partners for approximately $3.7 billion (including debt assumption).

Why it matters: It seems that the only thing hotter than human health deals in 2018 has been animal health deals, whether it be food (General Mills buying Blue Buffalo), veterinary services (Henry Schein spin-off/merger), diagnostics (Zoetis buying Abaxis), medicine (Elanco IPO) or the sorts of ancillary services that Antelliq provides.

Pigs are the next organ donors

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Some 20 people die every day waiting for organ transplants, and many improvements to our daily lives — like safer cars and longer life expectancy — will likely make that problem worse.

Driving the news: But scientists are pushing hard toward a solution: Genetically modified and wildly inbred pigs. "Pigs have been quietly insinuating their way into our bodies for some time now," the New York Times Magazine writes in an in-depth profile of the scientists working to engineer pig organs into a suitable replacement for human ones.

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