Merck Serono signs licensing and development deal with BeiGene

Chinese biotech has developed BeiGene-283 cancer compound

Merck Serono has signed a global licensing, co-development and commercialisation agreement with Chinese biotech BeiGene, for a cancer compound called BeiGene-283. The second-generation BRAF inhibitor is currently in preclinical development.

BRAF inhibitors target a protein that is a downstream component of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling pathway, which is thought to promote cancer cell growth.

Under the terms of the agreement, Beijing-based BeiGene will develop and market BeiGene-283 in China, while Merck will handle its development and marketing for the rest of the world.

Merck Serono will pay BeiGene an undisclosed upfront payment, in addition to further milestone payments on reaching certain development milestones in China and rest of the world, plus commercial milestones and ‘double-digit’ royalties on net sales.

‘The collaboration with BeiGene brings together two teams with a common interest in finding solutions in the battle against cancer,’ said Susan Jane Herbert, Head of Global Business Development and Strategy at Merck Serono.

John Oyler, CEO of BeiGene, added: ‘Our collaboration will accelerate the global development and commercialisation of this novel, China-discovered oncology innovation, something we could not have achieved alone.’

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