While BioRelix will make use of its proprietary riboswitch technology platform to identify compounds which are active against several bacterial targets, Merck will take responsibility for the evaluation of any candidates selected for further development. Both companies however will undertake preclinical programs.
Under the deal, Merck have agreed to fund all research as well as making an upfront payment to BioRelix. The drug discovery and development company will also receive royalties on the sales of all products derived from the collaboration.
“There is a tremendous patient need for new agents against difficult to treat and drug resistant infections,” said Brian Dixon, CEO of BioRelix. “We’re delighted to combine our technology with such a capable partner in order to provide new mechanisms and new chemistry to fight these life threatening diseases,” he added.
“Collaborations with companies like BioRelix are essential as we seek to apply the latest innovative drug discovery technologies towards the discovery of new much needed antibacterial medications,” commented Roger Pomerantz, senior vice president and global franchise head of infectious diseases at Merck Research Laboratories.