Cancer Research UK’s Commercial Partnerships Team and The Institute of Cancer Research, London, announced a multi-project collaboration and licensing deal with Merck KGaA, a leading science and technology company, to discover and develop new anticancer drugs.
This multi-project deal follows previous single project drug discovery collaborations and a more recent target validation collaboration between Merck KGaA and Cancer Research UK’s Cancer Therapeutics Unit at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR).
The parties will collaborate on three independent research projects spanning target hit discovery to preclinical candidate nomination. This work will progress the discovery and development of potential cancer drugs, as well as develop biomarkers for target engagement and patient selection.
Under the terms of the deal, Merck KGaA has worldwide rights to take molecules discovered through the collaboration forward into clinical development. Cancer Research UK and the ICR will receive milestone payments based on the achievement of research and development, regulatory and sales goals plus royalty payments on net sales of future products discovered or developed under the agreement. Any payments made to Cancer Research UK and ICR will be invested into future lifesaving research.
Dr Iain Foulkes, Cancer Research UK’s executive director of research and innovation, said: “This collaboration with Merck and one of Cancer Research UK’s major drug discovery units will help accelerate the development of potential new therapies for cancer patients. It is an exciting example of how successful academic networks and the scale of industry can combine to advance scientific and clinical discoveries.”