Merck dives even further into cytokine research as deal spree continues
Merck’s new leadership hasn’t been shy about its desire to spend, agreeing to drop $11.5 billion on a new biotech and promising to dole out more as the expiration date on the company’s money machine slowly approaches.
On Monday, CEO Robert Davis and R&D chief Dean Li added another deal, signing onto a well-backed Stanford spinout’s new approach to an old idea.
The NJ-based pharma agreed to co-develop a pair of new cytokine-based therapies with the 2-year-old biotech Synthekine. Although the deal doesn’t appear to offer much upfront — the partners didn’t disclose Merck’s initial payment — it comes with $525 million in milestones per target. One target is already selected and Merck has an option to pick a second.
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