By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Drug Week -- Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company which operates its biopharmaceutical business in the US and Canada as EMD Serono, announced that it has entered into a licensing agreement with Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, Boston, USA, for the worldwide development and commercialization of four promising research and development programs that represent novel approaches to the treatment of cancer (see also Pharmaceutical Companies).
"With this strategic deal, we significantly strengthen our oncology pipeline in two attractive areas where we have leading competence, DNA damage and repair and immuno-oncology-areas which also have promising therapeutic synergy," says Belen Garijo, CEO Healthcare and Member of the Executive Board of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. "This deal underscores our commitment to accelerate innovation for cancer patients, and we are excited for the opportunity to build on Vertex's rigorous science and advance these leading programs."
As part of the agreement, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany will license two clinical-stage programs targeting DNA damage and repair, along with two additional novel pre-clinical programs. Vertex will receive an upfront payment of $230 million, in addition to royalties on future net sales. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany will assume full responsibility for the development and commercialization of all the programs.
"The Vertex R&D team has produced a portfolio of first-in-class compounds with the potential to enhance the therapy of multiple cancers," said Jeffrey Leiden, Chairman, President and CEO of Vertex. "We are pleased to partner with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leader in oncology with exciting complementary assets that will help fully realize the value of these unique compounds and accelerate the programs' potential benefits for patients."
Keywords for this news article include: Pharmaceutical Companies, Genetics, Oncology, DNA Damage, Proteomics, DNA Research, Deoxyribonucleic Acid, Merck KGaA Darmstadt Germany.
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