Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical division of Merck, today announced that a license agreement has been signed with the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) in Madrid in the area of cancer drug development. The global agreement will build upon CNIO research discoveries to encourage the development and commercialization of new compounds in the field of oncology.
Under the terms of the license agreement, CNIO has granted to Merck exclusive rights to develop and commercialize their new inhibitors of the ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3-related (ATR) kinase. In exchange, Merck will make an initial payment along with other potential income of up to nearly € 19 million, as well as royalties on net sales. The agreement encompasses the licensing of two series of ATR inhibitors, as well as a screening platform to validate the compounds, which have currently reached an advanced preclinical stage.
"Part of Merck's commitment to oncology includes the focus on strategic agreements that allow us to foster a constant flow of innovations," said Andree Blaukat, Head of Translational Innovation Platform Oncology for Merck Serono. "We are convinced that working with like-minded organizations, like the CNIO, will further strengthen our efforts towards finding the next generation of breakthrough therapies."