Decision comes after Merck suspended a Phase IIb evaluation of SurModic’s I-vation TA in patients with diabetic macular edema.

Merck & Co. will discontinue the license and research collaboration with SurModics, triggering a $9 million payment to SurModics. The deal covered the use of SurModics’ I-vation™ sustained drug delivery system with Merck compounds for the treatment of retinal diseases.


SurModics shares slipped almost 32% from $39.11 at yesterday’s close to open trading today at $29.66.


In August, Merck suspended patient enrollment in a Phase IIb trial using I-vation TA in the diabetic macular edema setting. This move was based on a study that suggested a benefit for laser treatment over intravitreal injections of TA.


Merck says that its decision to end the entire partnership is not based on any concerns about the safety or efficacy of I-vation TA, the I-vation platform, or any of SurModics’ other sustained drug delivery systems.


The June 2007 agreement with Merck gave SurModics $20 million upfront. Milestone fees were set at $288 million; SurModics was not available to comment on achievement of these milestones or what will happen to current programs in development along with Merck.

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