(Adds share motion, analyst comment)

Oct 10 (Reuters) – Merck & Co said on Monday a therapy acquired through the drugmaker’s $11.5 billion acquisition of Acceleron Pharma last year had achieved the primary goal of a late-stage study in patients with progressive blood vessel disorder.

Merck shares rose 2.5% to $89.79 in premarket trading.

Sotatercept, compared to placebo, significantly increased the distance patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) walked in six minutes.

Last year, Merck bought Acceleron to gain access to the treatment sotatercept, as it sought to beef up its pipeline before cancer drug Keytruda loses key patents in 2028.

At that time, Merck predicted that PAHs could become a $7.5 billion market by 2026.

The data from the trial validates the acquisition of Acceleron and also supports Merck’s nascent cardiovascular drug portfolio, Robyn Karnauskas, analyst at Truist Securities, said in a note.

The cardiovascular portfolio, which is expected to consist of eight approved drugs, could net $10 billion in peak sales in 2030, Merck said.

Pulmonary hypertension is a rare type of high blood pressure that affects approximately 40,000 people in the United States, according to Merck. (Reporting by Khushi Mandowara and Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)