Merck walks away from KalVista, who turns their sights on HAE
Two months after KalVista announced its diabetic macular edema drug failed a Phase II trial, its big-name partner, Merck, has ended their up-to-$760 million deal.
Signed in 2017, that deal didn’t make KalVista – they had already landed $33 million from marquee venture firms, including Novo A/S and SV Life Sciences – but it turned the biotech from a microcap that had reverse-merged its way onto public markets into a name investors knew. Lead drug KVD001 was about to go into Phase II. Merck paid $37 million upfront, more than KalVista’s valuation at the time, to back the drug’s development and for the option to pick up or walk away from it once Phase II data was in.
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