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Dec 3, 2007

Addex and Merck & Co. Take On Parkinson’s in $170.5M Alliance

  • Addex and Merck & Co. entered a $170.5 million deal focused on Parkinson’s disease. The exclusive research and licensing agreement includes rights to the Addex’ related preclinical program and the discovery and development of orally available drugs.

    Addex will receive $3 million upfront and is entitled to an additional $106.5 million in research, development, and regulatory milestones for the first product developed for multiple indications. Additionally, payments totaling $61 million will be made for a second and third developed product. Addex is also eligible to receive royalties on the sales of any products developed through this collaboration.

    Researchers will work to discover and develop positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) targeting the metatropic glutamate receptor 4 (mGluR4). The agreement also includes Addex’ lead mGluR4 PAMs, that have reportedly reduced symptoms and slowed the progression of the disease. The program is reportedly in the lead optimization phase.

    Although both companies will jointly work on preclinical development, Merck will be responsible for clinical development. Addex will participate in the joint oversight committee and retains the option of copromoting in certain EU countries.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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