Merck will initially proffer $3 million for a license to Addex’ preclinical program, and firms will research other PAMs targeting the mGluR4.

Addex and Merck & Co. entered a $170.5 million deal focused on Parkinson’s disease. The exclusive research and licensing agreement includes rights to the Addex’ related preclinical program and the discovery and development of orally available drugs.

Addex will receive $3 million upfront and is entitled to an additional $106.5 million in research, development, and regulatory milestones for the first product developed for multiple indications. Additionally, payments totaling $61 million will be made for a second and third developed product. Addex is also eligible to receive royalties on the sales of any products developed through this collaboration.

Researchers will work to discover and develop positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) targeting the metatropic glutamate receptor 4 (mGluR4). The agreement also includes Addex’ lead mGluR4 PAMs, that have reportedly reduced symptoms and slowed the progression of the disease. The program is reportedly in the lead optimization phase.

Although both companies will jointly work on preclinical development, Merck will be responsible for clinical development. Addex will participate in the joint oversight committee and retains the option of copromoting in certain EU countries.

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