Allosteric modulation company Addex Pharmaceuticals has announced that it has entered an exclusive collaboration and license agreement with Merck & Co., Inc. with the goal of developing a new class of orally available drugs, initially as candidates for the treatment of Parkinson's disease and potentially other undisclosed indications.
The partners will discover and develop positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) targeting the metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 (mGluR4). The deal includes lead mGluR4 PAMs discovered by Addex.
“We are proud to have established this collaboration with Merck because their researchers have helped to define the therapeutic potential of targeting mGluR4 to treat Parkinson's disease,” Vincent Mutel, CEO of Addex, said. “This is another important validation of our leadership in allosteric modulation.”
"Addex has made exceptional progress in the area of mGlu receptor allosteric modulation," said Darryle D. Schoepp, Ph.D., senior vice president and franchise head, Neuroscience, at Merck Research Laboratories.
"This partnership is key to us jointly establishing a leadership position in the promising area of mGluR4 receptor modulation for Parkinson's disease. Merck scientists are excited to work with Addex to extrapolate the full value of this novel mechanism for a range of neuroscience disorders."
Under the terms of the agreement, Addex will receive $3 million upfront and is eligible for up to $106.5 million in research, development and regulatory milestones for the first product developed for multiple indications. Additional milestones of up to $61 million would be payable if a second and third product is developed. Addex is eligible to receive undisclosed royalties on sales of any products resulting from this collaboration.
Addex and Merck will collaborate on preclinical development. Merck will be responsible for clinical development. Addex has an option to co-promote in certain European Union countries and will participate in the joint oversight committee for clinical development.