Merck Serono and Selvita in Oncology R&D Pact
Merck Serono, the biopharmaceuticals arm of Germany's Merck KGaA, has agreed an oncology research pact with Polish biotech company Selvita. The aim of the collaboration is to jointly discover small molecule-based drugs targeting proteins involved in cancer cell metabolism, with an eye to developing first-in-class molecules as candidate drugs for multiple oncology applications.
The partners plan to pool their expertise in target validation, bioinformatics, medicinal chemistry, in vitro and in vivo biology and toxicology. Merck Serono will make milestone payments to Selvita if it initiates drug development programs or successfully commercializes collaboration candidates.
Under the agreement, Selvita, which started its first oncology discovery program in 2008, will receive funding from Merck Serono of €2.4 million and additional funding for external costs in the period up to 2015. The German company said it will also perform additional research at its own cost within the jointly defined R&D plan.