Ra Pharmaceuticals has entered into a collaboration with Merck for the development of Cyclomimetics, a new class of compounds that have the diversity and specificity of antibodies while retaining the attributes of small molecules. Ra will use its Extreme Diversity platform to develop Cyclomimetic candidates for protein targets in multiple therapeutic areas.
Ra is eligible to receive as much as $200 million in payments, including upfront and research funding, as well as the achievement of discovery, development, regulatory and commercialization milestones for multiple targets.
“Cyclomimetics have novel properties that enable the targeting of protein-protein interactions, a property sought after for a wide range of disease indications,” said Doug Treco, Ph.D., co-founder, president and chief executive officer, Ra Pharmaceuticals. “The collaboration with Merck highlights the broad potential of our Extreme Diversity platform and provides us with the resources to strengthen and advance our core technology.”
“This agreement with Ra Pharmaceuticals underscores our strategy of collaborating with scientists who have developed innovative new technologies with the potential to complement and enhance our original research and product portfolio,” said Richard Tillyer, Ph.D., head of Drug Discovery and Preclinical Sciences, Merck Research Laboratories.