Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Deal: Merck and Endocyte Enter Exclusive Worldwide Agreement to Develop and Commercialize Phase III Cancer Candidate
Merck and Endocyte Inc. announced on April 16, 2012 that they have entered into an agreement potentially worth almost $1B. The deal will develop and commercialize Endocyte's investigational therapeutic candidate vintafolide (EC145). Vintafolide is currently being evaluated in a Phase III clinical trial for platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, (PROCEED trial) and a Phase II trial for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); both studies are also using Endocyte's investigational companion diagnostic agent, etarfolatide (EC20).
Under the agreement, Merck will gain worldwide rights to develop and commercialize vintafolide. Endocyte will receive a $120 million upfront payment and is eligible for milestone payments of up to $880 million based on the successful achievement of development, regulatory and commercialization goals for vintafolide for a total of six cancer indications.
If vintafolide receives regulatory approval, Endocyte will receive an equal share of the profit in the United States (U.S.) as well as a double digit percentage royalty on sales of the product in the rest of the world. Endocyte has retained the right to co-promote vintafolide with Merck in the U.S. and Merck has the exclusive right to promote vintafolide in the rest of world.
Endocyte will be responsible for the majority of funding and completion of the PROCEED trial. Merck will be responsible for all other development activities and costs and have all decision rights for vintafolide.
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