Proxygen and US Merck Collaborate on Molecular Glue Degraders

12.04.2023 - Austrian biotech Proxygen has announced a multi-year collaboration and license agreement with US drugmaker Merck & Co to identify and develop molecular glue degraders against multiple therapeutic targets. The deal could be worth up to $2.55 billion for Proxygen, based on achieving certain milestones.

Molecular glue degraders are a class of drugs that completely eliminate a harmful protein’s function rather than just inhibiting it. Proxygen said they constitute a new avenue towards targeting proteins that were previously considered undruggable.” The Vienna-based company has developed a proprietary discovery engine that supports specific and unbiased identification of molecular glue degraders against difficult-to-drug or completely undruggable targets at large scale.

“We are very excited to announce this collaboration with Merck & Co and look forward to combining our innovative platform technology and unique expertise in identifying novel molecular glue degraders with Merck’s world-class research and development capabilities. This partnership provides us with the framework and resources to further leverage our platform for the discovery of new drugs against challenging targets,” said Proxygen’s CEO Bernd Boidol.

Proxygen is also involved in other strategic partnerships, including with German firms Merck and Boehringer Ingelheim under multi-year deals announced in June 2022 and December 2020 respectively.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist