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Merck Enters Pact With Endocyte To Develop And Commercialize Vintafolide

Merck (MRK) Monday announced that it has entered into an exclusive worldwide agreement with Endocyte Inc (ECYT) to develop and commercialize Vintafolide,

Vintafolide is Endocyte's novel investigational therapeutic candidate that is being currently evaluated in a Phase III clinical trial for platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, and in a Phase II trial for non-small cell lung cancer.

As per the terms of the agreement, Endocyte will receive a $120 million upfront payment and is eligible for milestone payments of up to $880 million based on the successful achievement of development, regulatory and commercialization goals for vintafolide for a total of six cancer indications.

For its part, Merck, through a subsidiary unit, will be vested with worldwide rights to develop and commercialize Vintafolide.

"Vintafolide is a promising and innovative late-stage cancer drug candidate. In addition to pursuing the lead indication of platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, Merck plans to further evaluate its potential for treatment of multiple other cancer types," said Peter S. Kim, executive vice president and president Merck Research Laboratories. "This agreement underscores our strategy of building a portfolio of oncology therapeutics that employ a companion diagnostic to facilitate selection of those patients most likely to respond to treatment."

by RTT Staff Writer

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