Merck Follows Four Other Majors — In Striking Ion Channel Deal With Ablynx

BR> This specific ion channel deal with Merck & Co. could be (with milestone related optional payments) worth up to about $580 million — or 448 million euros to Ablynx. Merck now joins a crowded field betting on this particular iteration of nanobody tech, as a vehicle for for future drug delivery approaches. Even the oft-confused European Merck (called Serono) has a prior deal with Ablynx. Here’s a bit; do go read it all

. . . .The Ghent-based biotechnology company, which listed on Euronext Brussels in November 2007, said that upon signing of the agreement it would receive a 6.5 million euro initial payment and a 2 million euro fee for research funding. Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, will gain exclusive rights to nanobodies directed towards a voltage-gated ion channel with the option to develop a nanobody to a second target. . . .

Whether this approach fails or flies, Whitehouse Station cannot afford to be on the sidelines here — with all the other major players placing bets at this Roulette Wheel. We will keep you posted.

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