Merck & Co., Teijin Pharma Sign Antibody Pact
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Merck & Co. Inc. has entered into an exclusive worldwide license agreement with Teijin Pharma for the development, manufacture, and commercialization of an investigational preclinical antibody candidate targeting the protein tau. Changes in tau are associated with a number of diseases affecting the nervous system, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Under the agreement Merck will have exclusive worldwide rights to develop, manufacture, and commercialize the anti-tau antibody. In exchange, Merck will make an upfront payment to Teijin Pharma, which is also eligible to receive development, regulatory, and sales milestone payments. In addition, Teijin Pharma will receive royalties on product sales and retains an option to co-promote an approved product in Japan.

The addition of this antibody targeting tau will complement Merck’s portfolio of candidates being investigated for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. This includes [18F]-MK-6240, a tau ligand currently being evaluated as a potential positron emission tomography (PET) imaging agent for quantifying the brain burden of neurofibrillary tangle pathology in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Merck is evaluating verubecestat (MK-8931) an investigational small molecule inhibitor of the beta-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1), in a Phase III study of people with prodromal Alzheimer’s disease (APECS).

Source: Merck & Co. Inc.

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