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Mar 7, 2007

Deal with Merck Could Equal $200M for Avalon

  • Avalon Pharmaceuticals and Merck & Co. will work together to identify and develop inhibitors for an undisclosed target related to the development of cancer.

    Under the a drug discovery, development, and commercialization collaboration, Avalon may receive discovery, development, regulatory, and commercial milestones payments exceeding $200 million as well as royalties on any potential future marketed products.

    The company will use its AvalonRx® platform to screen a select set of compounds from Merck's library and identify hits against this target that is generally regarded as intractable based on the difficulty in identifying inhibitors. Avalon will pick compound families and optimize these compounds to a preclinical candidate-selection stage. Merck will be responsible for the clinical development, regulatory approval, and commercialization of any potential product candidates.

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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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