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Dec 19, 2007

Merck KGaA Pays $40M for Two Idera TLR9 Agonists for Oncology Applications

  • Idera Pharmaceuticals and Merck KGaA inked a cancer deal potentially worth $421 million. The worldwide licensing and collaboration agreement is related to Idera’s Toll-like Receptor 9 (TLR9) agonists for the treatment of cancer.

    Merck will pay $40 million upfront for the therapeutic oncology applications, excluding cancer vaccines, of Idera’s lead TLR9 agonists, IMO-2055 and IMO-2125. Both compounds are in Phase I trials.

    In addition, Idera and Merck will partner to identify a specified number of novel, follow-on TLR9 agonists. Merck will have the exclusive right to use any discovered molecules in applications other than vaccines. Idera is thus eligible to receive milestone fees of up to $381 million as well as royalties.



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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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