News

Merck Serono bags MS licence option
Enlarge image

BusinessGermany

Merck Serono bags MS licence option

06.02.2013 - Merck Serono has secured an exclusive licence option for Opexa Therapeutics’ autologous T cell-based Multiple Sclerosis therapy imilecleucel-T.

Opexa’s Tcelna (imilecleucel-T) therapy currently is tested in a Phase IIb study on patients with Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS), which is less common than relapsing forms of MS that are targeted by Merck’s blockbuster Rebif® (interferon beta-1a)  In case of market entry and successful commercialisation, the US firm could gain US$225m in total from the option and license agreement.

Under the terms of the contract, Opexa will receive an upfront payment of $5 million for granting an option to Merck Serono for the exclusive license of the Tcelna (imilecleucel-T) programme as a treatment of MS. The option may be exercised prior to, or upon completion of, Opexa’s proof-of-concept trial. If Merck Serono opts for the programme, Opexa is eligible for $25m or $15m upfront depending on fulfilment of certain undisclosed conditions. The Germans, in return, would receive worldwide development and commercial rights in MS, excluding Japan. When exercising the option, Merck Serono would have to pay all clinical development, as well as the cost for regulatory authorisation and marketing of the MS programme. Milestone payments to Opexa could sum up to $195m plus a tiered royalty rate from the high single digits to the mid-teens based on net sales.

Under the agreement, Opexa will have an option right to co-fund development, under which the company would participate in economic support for future clinical development of the programme in exchange for additional royalty consideration. In addition to retaining all rights outside of MS as well as retaining the ability to commercialise imilecleucel-T in Japan, Opexa also retains certain manufacturing rights related to the programme. 

Tcelna (imilecleucel-T) is an autologous T cell therapy. After collection of peripheral blood mononuclear cells, myelin-reactive T-cells (MRTCs) raised against selected peptides from myelin basic protein (MBP), myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) and proteolipid protein (PLP) are expanded, irradiated and given back to the patient subcutaneously to trigger a therapeutic immune response.

© eurobiotechnews.eu/tg 

http://www.european-biotechnology-news.com/news/news/2013-01/merck-serono-bags-ms-licence-option.html

RegulationEU

21.01.2015 The EMA is asking for comments on how to implement the transparency rules of EU Clinical Trial Regulation, pointing to the new clinical trial portal and database as the main instrument.

Stock marketsEUGermany

21.01.2015 2014 was a record year for biotech companies on the European stock market, with a total of €2.4bn raised in the year - 25% more than in the year before.

ResearchEUUK

20.01.2015 Ebola research projects are set to receive €215m in funding from the European Commission’s IMI2 Ebola+ programme. Among the project partners are vaccine developers Glaxosmithkline, Johnson&Johnson and Merck. 

Stock ExchangeUKDenmarkFrance

16.01.2015 It's time to get used to weekly IPO plans by European biotechs. UK's drug discovery firm Redx Pharma Ltd, established just five years ago, has come of age with their £80m (€105m) IPO plans.

M&ASwitzerland

14.01.2015 Pharma kingpin Roche has launched a billion-dollar transaction for a total of US$1.2bn (€1bn), taking over the majority of US cancer specialist Foundation Medicine.

PoliticsEU

14.01.2015 The European Parliament has backed the legislation allowing individual countries to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of genetically modified crops that have been authorised at EU level.

M&AIrelandUK

13.01.2015 Shire beefs up its rare disease portfolio after acquiring NPS Pharma with the aim of becoming a leading biotech in a US$5.2bn deal. Part of the deal is the US biotech's lead portfolio of gastrointestinal and hormone replacement therapies.

M&ASwitzerlandFrance

09.01.2015 The excitement surrounding CRISPR genome editing shows no sign of abating. This month, Novartis and US biotech Intellia Therapeutics became the first ever biotech-pharma collaboration to use the groundbreaking technology.

PoliticsBelgium

08.01.2015 Belgian cell therapy specialist Cardio3 Biosciences joins the immuno-oncology arena with the acquisition of Celdara Medical's cancer division Oncyte for US$180m.

PoliticsIrelandEU

06.01.2015 With the aim to utilise Ireland’s many natural resources and keep abreast of the latest EU developments in bioeconomy, a multi-disciplinary team has been funded to maximise national income, exports and job creation related to Ireland’s bioeconomy.

Events

All Events

Current issue

All issues

Product of the week

Products