Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: IDRA), today announced that it has achieved a milestone under its worldwide licensing and collaboration agreement with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. The milestone was achieved upon initiation of a Phase 2 trial by Merck KGaA of EMD 1201081, a novel agonist of Toll-like Receptor 9 (TLR9), in combination with cetuximab (Erbitux®) in second-line cetuximab-naïve patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Under the terms of the agreement, the Company is entitled to receive a payment of €3.0 million (approximately $4.3 million) from Merck KGaA.
“We are very pleased with Merck KGaA’s initiation of this randomized Phase 2 clinical trial of EMD 1201081 in combination with cetuximab in patients with head and neck cancer”
“We are very pleased with Merck KGaA’s initiation of this randomized Phase 2 clinical trial of EMD 1201081 in combination with cetuximab in patients with head and neck cancer,” said Alice Bexon, MBChB, Vice President of Clinical Development. “Under our collaboration with Merck KGaA, the use of EMD 1201081 with cetuximab is an important step forward in the development of our novel TLR9 agonists in combination with selected targeted agents for the treatment of solid tumors.”
The Company expects that it will receive the milestone payment of €3.0 million (approximately $4.3 million based on the currency exchange rate on January 18, 2010) from Merck KGaA during the first quarter of 2010. The clinical trial is being conducted in eight countries, including the U.S.
SOURCE Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc.