Merck Serono has signed a license agreement with the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) in Madrid for cancer drug development. The global agreement will build on CNIO’s research discoveries to develop and commercialize new oncology compounds.
Merck was granted exclusive rights to new inhibitors of the ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3-related (ATR) kinase, as well as a screening platform to validate the compounds, in exchange for an upfront payment and potential payments totaling €19 million, as well as royalties on sales.
"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."
"As a research organization, the CNIO is committed to fostering and promoting innovation. Among other initiatives, the CNIO's Experimental Therapeutics Program carries out early drug discovery projects. The CNIO is delighted to be working with Merck to hopefully translate this research into potential new treatment options for patients with cancer," said Maria Blasco, director of the CNIO. "It is through collaborations with industry oncology leaders that we can bring CNIO discoveries, such as those made by the group led by Oscar Fernandez-Capetillo, to patients, and contribute new improved products to the battle against cancer."