Merck & Co Agrees to $300m Research Contract with Lycera

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Related tags: Merck research laboratories, Protein, Pre-clinical development

Merck & Co contract Lycera for research
Merck & Co contract Lycera for research
Merck & Co and Lycera have signed a preclinical research deal that could be worth up to $300m if certain milestones are met.

Under the contract Lycera will discover, develop and commercialize small-molecule therapies for a range of immune-mediated disorders. The collaboration builds on a 2011 agreement that focused on therapies targeting the retinoic acid related orphan receptor, the key transcription factor coordinating both differentiation of T-helper 17 cells and production of highly pro-inflammatory mediators such as interleukin-17.

Lycera will receive an upfront payment and research funding but the financial terms of those payments will not be disclosed, Katie Wilson, a spokesman for Lycera told

Merck is responsible for clinical development and will have worldwide marketing and commercialization rights to any products that may be developed as a result of the collaboration​,” Wilson said. “Lycera is entitled to receive royalty payments, as well as development and sales milestones, on global sales from any such products​.”

Rupert Vessey, senior vice president of Merck Research Laboratories, said, ​“Lycera’s innovative capabilities and productivity, exemplified by the RORgt program on which we currently collaborate, make them ideal partners for Merck in this area of drug discovery​.”

The 2011 deal provided Lycera with $12m in upfront cash payments, significant committed research funding, and made the company eligible to receive up to $295 million in other research, development and regulatory milestone payments. 

Related topics: Preclinical Research, Merck & Co

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