IND filings spur fees to Inovio and Geron.
Inovio Biomedical and Geron will be the receipients of multimillion dollar milestone payments from Merck & Co. The separate milestones are related to recent IND filings for cancer vaccines.
Merck’s IND application for a cancer vaccine candidate that targets telomerase triggered a $4 million fee to Geron. This vaccine was developed under a July 2005 agreement that provided Merck with exclusive, worldwide rights to nondendritic cell-based vaccines targeting telomerase.
Merck also filed an IND for a DNA-based vaccine using Inovio’s MedPulser® DNA Delivery System. Inovio will thus receive $2 million. Inovio and Merck entered a collaboration in May 2004 for the development of certain DNA vaccines. This IND filing marks the second application under the partnership. So far, Merck has funded all clinical development costs of this candidate.