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Jun 11, 2007

Merck KGaA Makes $29.8M Equity Investment in Archemix

  • Archemix and Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA, formed a multiyear strategic alliance to discover, develop, and commercialize aptamer therapeutics with a primary focus on the treatment of cancer. The alliance combines Archemix’ SELEX technology to discover and generate aptamer candidates with Merck’s oncology drug development and commercialization capabilities.

    Under the terms of the agreement, Archemix will receive a $29.8 million equity investment from Merck KGaA. Merck KGaA also retains an option, under certain circumstances, to acquire additional Archemix common stock upon an initial public offering. 

    The collaboration gives Merck Serono the option to obtain product licenses to certain of Archemix’s lead-stage aptamer programs in oncology and the right to select and develop aptamers against six additional targets in oncology and other indications, including autoimmune and inflammation disorders.

    In addition, Merck Serono is granted a license to use Archemix’s SELEX technology for internal target validation. Archemix has the option to exercise a co-development and co-promote option on any of the products being developed on a 50-50 cost and profit-sharing basis in the U.S.

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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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