Merck KGaA Partners in Immuno-Oncology

Merck KGaA has signed a collaboration and license agreement with Domain Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Strasbourg, France, for the development of adenosine receptor antagonist drugs specifically designed for oncology and immuno-oncology.

The agreement will involve the development of new agents targeting key adenosine receptors. Merck will support research activities and gain worldwide rights to Domain Therapeutics’ adenosine receptor inhibitors. Under the agreement, Domain Therapeutics will be eligible for more than EUR 240 million ($258 million) in milestones as well as undisclosed royalties.

Adenosine has been identified as a component in resistance mechanisms for tumors targeted by immune checkpoint inhibito, according to Domain Therapeutics.While blocking certain adenosine receptors has been shown to increase the response to immune checkpoint inhibitors, antagonizing other adenosine receptors has also been shown to slow tumor progression, according to the company. 

Source: Domain Therapeutics

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