Monday, October 15, 2012

Oral HCMV Candidate In-Licensed From Europe's AiCuris

The market for an effective cytomegalovirus vaccine would appear to be very substantial -- as human organ transplantation rates grow substantially, world-wide (in the developed world, at least). It's a nice bet for MSD Corporate Development and MRL to make. For its part, AiCuris has a strong and growing reputation here (it is a 2006 spinoff from the EU's Bayer conglomerate). Do read the full presser here -- but a snippet:
. . . .Merck. . . and AiCuris today announced that they have entered into an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement for AiCuris' novel portfolio of investigational medicines targeting Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV), including letermovir (AIC246), an oral, late-stage antiviral candidate being investigated for the treatment and prevention of HCMV infection in transplant recipients. . . .
Merck will gain worldwide rights to develop and commercialize candidates in AiCuris' HCMV portfolio. AiCuris will receive a €110 million upfront payment and is eligible for milestone payments of up to €332.5 million based on successful achievement of development, regulatory and commercialization goals for HCMV candidates, including letermovir, an additional back-up candidate as well as other Phase I candidates designed to act via an alternate mechanism. In addition, AiCuris will be entitled to receive royalty payments reflecting the advanced stage of the clinical program on any potential products that result from the agreement. Merck will be responsible for all development activities and costs. . . .

We will keep you posted.

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