Today Nerviano Medical Sciences, the largest pharmaceutical R&D facility in Italy and one of the leading oncology-focused, integrated discovery and development companies in Europe, announced an agreement with Merck, a leading science and technology company, under which the two companies will collaborate on the discovery of small molecule inhibitors for development as anticancer agents.
Under the terms of the agreement, Nerviano Medical Sciences grants Merck an exclusive right to conduct joint research and to develop, manufacture and commercialize inhibitors of certain molecular targets in the area of DNA damage repair.
The collaboration between Nerviano Medical Sciences and Merck will initially focus on one target and shall encompass two stages. Nerviano Medical Sciences and Merck will first conduct research work in close collaboration with each other and Merck will subsequently further develop, manufacture and commercialize selected collaboration compounds.
Terms of the multiyear collaboration include an upfront fee in consideration of the rights and licenses granted by Nerviano Medical Sciences to Merck as well as partial funding of the costs incurred by Nerviano Medical Sciences for the conduct of the research program. As additional considerations, Merck shall pay research, development and commercial success milestones, as well as royalties on worldwide sales of products.
“This agreement between Merck and Nerviano Medical Sciences marks a new achievement in our collaboration strategy” - said Andrea Agazzi, Chairman of NMS Group. “We are very excited about the prospect of collaborating with Merck. We believe that by working together and applying our complementary world class research capabilities, we may be able to develop innovative and valuable products for the market.”
“We are thrilled at the prospect of joining forces with Merck in the discovery and development of innovative therapies in the field of defective DNA damage repair mechanisms, which both our teams view to be amongst the most important susceptibilities of cancer to be leveraged in the fight against this disease” - added Arturo Galvani, Head of Discovery Research at Nerviano Medical Sciences. “I believe that this partnership, which combines Nerviano’s expertise in the discovery and development of high-quality drug candidates with Merck’s scientific expertise as a global healthcare leader, is ideally configured for the task of delivering effective new therapies for the care of cancer patients.”