Merck Inks Two Immaterial HIV-Space Collaborations


These are small front-end deals, but — as ever — you have to put a horse in the race, to have any chance of winning.

Hard to tell at this stage what the odds will be on either of these turning in a Secretariat-like run — but here’s to hoping.

From today’s PharmaTimes, then — a bit — do go read it all:

. . . .First up, a deal has been signed with Chimerix giving the US major access to CMX157, the former’s lipid acyclic nucleoside phosphonate which has completed Phase I. . . . Chimerix will receive $17.5 million upfront and be eligible to receive up to $151 million in milestones, plus royalties on future sales.

Merck has also signed an agreement with Japan’s Yamasa Corp to develop EFdA (4’-ethynyl-2-fluoro-2’-deoxyadenosine), a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor candidate in preclinical studies which has shown antiviral activity toward highly-resistant HIV strains. The company will pay an upfront fee and future milestone payments in return for exclusive worldwide rights; financial details were not disclosed. [Ed. Note: That is so, because the payments are not presently expected to be material to Merck — approaching $49 billion in annual worldwide sales revenue.]

The New Jersey-based firm also disclosed that it intends to initiate a Phase II study for MK-1439, its own next-generation non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor. . . .

Next-up — second quarter 2012 earnings call — on Friday morning, first thing.

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