Pharma Focus Asia

Astex Pharmaceuticals Expands Drug Discovery Collaboration with Merck

Wednesday, August 09, 2023

Astex Pharmaceuticals has recently announced that it has entered into an exclusive global research collaboration and licence agreement with MSD (Merck). 

This strategic partnership is an extension of their existing collaboration and is aimed at combining their respective strengths and resources, particularly benefiting from MSD's comprehensive expertise in the field of oncology. The main objective of this collaboration is to identify and develop small molecules capable of targeting a specific tumour suppressor protein, potentially paving the way for innovative cancer treatments.

Under the terms of this agreement, MSD has been granted an exclusive worldwide licence to spearhead research, development, and eventual commercialisation activities for promising candidate compounds originating from this collaborative effort.

As part of the agreement, Astex will receive an upfront payment of $35 million. Additionally, Astex stands to gain milestone payments linked to key stages of progress, including preclinical studies, clinical trials, regulatory approvals, and sales benchmarks.

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