Merck enters second autoimmune disorder collaboration with Lycera
Merck is entering into a second collaboration with biopharmaceutical company, Lycera. The two companies have announced an agreement, which builds on their first collaboration from 2011, to discover, develop and commercialise small-molecule therapies directed to selected novel targets being investigated for the treatment of a broad range of immune-mediated disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
“We are absolutely delighted to expand our relationship with Merck, a collaboration that builds on the culture of scientific excellence fostered by both companies. Lycera’s proven track record in accelerating early stage programs to development candidate status holds the potential to fuel Merck’s early stage pipeline.”
Kathleen M. Metters, Ph.D., Lycera president and chief executive officer.
“There are substantial unmet medical needs and opportunities in autoimmune disorders, and new targets representing attractive opportunities that we are very pleased to pursue through our new collaboration with Lycera. Lycera’s innovative capabilities and productivity, exemplified by the RORgt program on which we currently collaborate, make them ideal partners for Merck in this area of drug discovery.”
Rupert Vessey, D.Phil., FRCP, senior vice president, global scientific strategy, Merck Research Laboratories.
Under terms of this agreement, Lycera will receive an upfront payment and research funding, and is eligible to receive in excess of US $300 million in research, development, and regulatory and commercial milestone payments. Merck will be responsible for clinical development and will have global marketing and commercialisation rights to any products developed as a result of this collaboration.
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