Please login to the form below

Not currently logged in
Email:
Password:

Merck & Co signs $1bn cancer pact with Endocyte

Licenses vintafolide, a late-stage drug in development for ovarian and lung cancer

Merck & Co has acquired the rights to a late-stage cancer drug in a deal that could be worth up to $1bn.

Endocyte's vintafolide is being investigated in six oncology indications, the most advanced of which are platinum-resistant ovarian cancer (phase III) and non-small cell lung cancer (phase II), and is being developed alongside a companion diagnostic.

The US biopharma's deal with Merck with see the larger pharma company develop and commercialise the drug in return for paying Endocyte a $120m upfront payment milestone payments of up to $880m depending on the vintafolide's success.

If the drug is approved, Endocyte will also receive an equal share of the profit for sales in the US, as well as a double digit percentage royalty on sales in the rest of the world.

"Vintafolide is a promising and innovative late-stage cancer drug candidate,” said Peter Kim, executive VP and president Merck Research Laboratories.

“In addition to pursuing the lead indication of platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, Merck plans to further evaluate its potential for treatment of multiple other cancer types."

The move is also part of Merck's commitment to oncology treatments, said Kim, with the company facing patent expirations in previous key markets of asthma and allergies.

Vintafolide, which is being studied using Endocyte's investigational companion diagnostic agent, etarfolatide, has shown success in phase II trials in women with ovarian cancer that is resistant to platinum therapy.

In a trial comparing its use with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) versus PLD alone, it managed to demonstrate a statistically significant delay in disease progression or death.

Endocyte will continue to be responsible for the majority of funding and completion of the ongoing phase III PROCEED trial in ovarian cancer, with Merck responsible for all other development activities and costs for vintafolide

The drug was also granted orphan status in March by the EU, where Endocyte plans to file a marketing authorisation application in the third quarter of 2012.

17th April 2012

Share

Featured jobs

Subscribe to our email news alerts

PMHub

Add my company
Quintiles

With a network of more than 27,000 employees conducting business in approximately 100 countries, we have helped develop or commercialize...

Latest intelligence

GDPR and events. What does the pharma industry need to know?
...
Digital trends in B2B sales - how far behind is Pharma?
The modern approach to B2B sales is data-driven, and enabled by digital tools....
The rise of vertical integration in the US payer landscape
Is it a solution to addressing the challenges of the value-based marketplace?...

Infographics