Merck, Marcadia to collaborate on diabetes, obesity drug development

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Marcadia Biotech, a drug development company, has entered a strategic collaboration with Merck to jointly develop and commercialize new biopharmaceutical therapies targeting the glucagon and related receptors for the treatment of diabetes and obesity.

Under the terms of the agreement, Merck will pay Marcadia an initial upfront fee as well as payments for exclusivity and ongoing collaborative research. Marcadia also said it will be eligible to receive future milestone and royalty payments associated with research, development and commercialization of certain drug candidates.

Merck has obtained a worldwide exclusive license to certain Marcadia development candidates and intellectual property in the agreement, the company said. Marcadia said it will have the right to exercise options for profit and cost sharing and co-promotion in the United States. Additional terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The transaction is subject to clearance under the U.S. Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

Some of the Marcadia intellectual property subject to the Merck collaboration was licensed from the Indiana University Research and Technology, and the company sponsors ongoing discovery research at the Indiana University Chemistry Department in Bloomington, Ind., in the therapeutic area of metabolic diseases, according to the Carmel, Ind.-based Marcadia.

“Marcadia has generated a unique collection of peptide drug candidates with potentially novel therapeutic attributes,” said Luciano Rossetti, MD, senior vice president and franchise head, diabetes/obesity and cardiovascular at Merck. “This latest collaboration underscores our strategy to establish a robust early-stage pipeline that delivers superior diabetes and obesity therapies.”