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Merck and Selvita announce oncology drug discovery collaboration

Posted: 3 November 2015 | Victoria White

The aim of the collaboration is to deliver potential first-in-class small molecules as lead candidate drugs for multiple oncology indications…

Merck’s healthcare business has entered into a three-year collaboration to validate new therapeutic concepts in the field of oncology with Selvita.

The aim of the collaboration is to deliver potential first-in-class small molecules as lead candidate drugs for multiple oncology indications. Both companies will contribute funding and resources to support the collaboration, as well as bring their expertise in target validation, bioinformatics, medicinal chemistry, in vitro and in vivo biology, and toxicology.

“We are excited about our new collaboration and to continue our productive relationship with Selvita and to build upon our collective efforts of the last two years,” said Andree Blaukat, Head of the Translational Innovation Platform Oncology at Merck. “We are making strong progress in the area of cancer metabolism, and remain focused on bringing innovative new therapeutic options to patients that have the potential to make a substantial difference in their lives.”

Merck and Selvita will jointly research compounds up to lead identification

This collaboration will steer a joined portfolio of discovery projects in a risk/reward sharing model and builds on the framework that the two companies have developed during a two-year partnership in cancer metabolism which began in 2013.

Under the terms of the new agreement, Merck will have an exclusive license to the joint intellectual property and Selvita will receive milestone payments and royalties upon successful development and commercialization of products by Merck. The collaboration consists of a joint research phase up to lead identification, after which Merck will further research and develop the projects on its own.

Krzysztof Brzozka, Selvita Chief Scientific Officer, added: “Collaboration between Merck and Selvita is an excellent example of a successful joint drug discovery platform where both parties contribute their expertise to identify and validate novel therapeutic targets, in parallel developing new compounds and advancing them towards clinical development. This sort of deep and intensive type of collaboration is at the core of Selvita’s vision of modern drug discovery.”

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