Merck Serono exercised its option to partner with Flamel Technologies, paying 5 million, or approximately $6.3 million. The companies entered into a full license agreement, according to which Flamel's Medusa technology will be applied for the extended release of Merck's therapeutic marketed protein.
This decision follows promising results from the collaboration between the two companies first hatched in December 2007. At the time Merck Serono paid 2 million to evaluate Medusa.
Under the terms of the new agreement, Flamel will be eligible to receive further payments based on research achievements and development milestones. Merck will fund all R&D efforts at Flamel.
"As Flamel's Medusa technology allows, among other significant advantages, for long sustained release of injectable proteins compared to standard formulations, we hope to offer an improved convenience for patients requiring treatment by injection," says Bernhard Kirschbaum, evp of R&D at Merck.
The Medusa technology is a self-assembled poly-aminoacid nanoparticle system and a carrier for the development of novel long-acting formulations of proteins, peptides, and other large molecules, says Flamel.