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.