Merck and Selvita enter new drug discovery collaboration

With the aim of discovering small molecule lead candidates for multiple oncology indications

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

Financial details were not disclosed.

The firms hope to deliver potential small molecules as leading candidate drugs for multiple cancer indications. They will both contribute funding and resources to the partnership, 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

'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.'

This collaboration will steer a joint portfolio of discovery projects 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 licence to the joint intellectual property, while Selvita will receive milestone payments and royalties upon successful development and commercialisation 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.'

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