Firm will make $70 million for each of up to 10 candidates against atherosclerosis.

KineMed has agreed to use its reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) technology to evaluate Merck & Co.’s investigational compounds. KineMed stands to earn up to $705.5 million based on various milestones.

RCT is the only known metabolic pathway by which excess cholesterol can be removed from tissues, explain the companies. A relevant increase in the rate of RCT is the goal in raising HDL levels for the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis.

Under the terms of the agreement, KineMed could receive in excess of $5.5 million in initial and research payments should the collaboration extend for the full term. Merck will pay an additional $70 million in milestones for each of up to 10 compounds.

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