Metabasis Therapeutics, Inc. has announced an extension to the sponsored research term under its collaboration with Merck & Co., Inc. for an additional year, through June 2009.
The two companies will continue their joint efforts to identify small molecule therapeutics with the potential to treat several diseases, including type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases, by activation of an enzyme called AMP-activated Protein Kinase (AMPK). AMPK is thought to play an important role in regulating carbohydrate and fat metabolism and consequently in metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
Merck and Metabasis will continue to work collaboratively with the goal of producing a candidate molecule suitable for clinical development. Merck will continue to fund research efforts at Metabasis for this project and has primary responsibility, including financial responsibility, for clinical development of any resulting therapeutic candidates as well as the right to market any products derived from the collaboration worldwide.
Metabasis is eligible to receive payments upon achievement of certain candidate development milestones. Should a product be commercialized, Metabasis will receive a royalty on net sales and have the option to co-promote the product in the United States. Metabasis will receive $1.5 million over the course of the one-year extension to support its research efforts.