Merck Enters Into Global Co-Development and Commercialization Agreement With Chinese R&D Company BeiGene on Second-Generation BRAF Inhibitor
Collaboration will accelerate the global development of an innovative oncology product discovered in China
Darmstadt, Germany, May 31, 2013 – Merck Serono, a division of Merck, today announced that a global licensing, co-development, and commercialization agreement has been signed with BeiGene Co., Ltd., a biotech research and development company in Beijing, for BeiGene-283. The compound is a second-generation BRAF inhibitor for the treatment of cancer that is currently in preclinical development. It is expected to enter clinical development next year. It was discovered and developed in the People’s Republic of China by BeiGene. BRAF inhibitors target a protein (BRAF) that is a downstream component of the MAPK* signaling pathway, which is thought to promote cancer cell growth and is dysregulated in a number of human cancers.
Under the terms of the collaboration, BeiGene will be responsible for the development and commercialization of BeiGene-283 in the People’s Republic of China and Merck will be responsible for the development and commercialization of BGB-283 for the rest of the world. BeiGene will receive an undisclosed upfront payment and is eligible to receive further payments for the achievement of clinical development milestones in both the People’s Republic of China and rest of the world, commercial milestones, and up to double-digit royalties on net sales. This collaboration further underscores Merck’s goal to provide innovative medicines for patients with cancer in the People’s Republic of China and throughout the world.
“Today’s announcement reflects our commitment to forge strategic partnerships in China with companies focusing on innovation,” said Dr. Susan Jane Herbert, Head of Global Business Development and Strategy for Merck Serono. “The collaboration with BeiGene brings together two teams with a common interest in finding solutions in the battle against cancer.”
John Oyler, CEO of BeiGene, commented: “We are very much looking forward to collaborating with Merck around BeiGene-283. Our collaboration will accelerate the global development and commercialization of this novel, China-discovered oncology innovation, something we could not have achieved alone.”
*mitogen-activated protein kinase
About BeiGene (Beijing), Co., Ltd.
BeiGene is a Chinese novel R&D oncology company focusing on discovering, developing and commercializing innovative oncology therapeutics. With a team of around 150 scientists and staff, its pipeline is comprised of novel oral small molecules and monoclonal antibodies for cancer. BeiGene Ltd. is a Cayman Islands exempted company that is an investor in and collaborator with BeiGene (Beijing), Co. Ltd. For more information please visit: www.beigene.com.
About Merck Serono
Merck Serono is the biopharmaceutical division of Merck. With headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany, Merck Serono offers leading brands in 150 countries to help patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, infertility, endocrine and metabolic disorders as well as cardiovascular diseases. In the United States and Canada, EMD Serono operates as a separately incorporated subsidiary of Merck Serono.
Merck Serono discovers, develops, manufactures and markets prescription medicines of both chemical and biological origin in specialist indications. We have an enduring commitment to deliver novel therapies in our core focus areas of neurology, oncology, immuno-oncology and immunology.
Merck is a leading pharmaceutical, chemical and life science company with total revenues of € 11.2 billion in 2012, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by approx. 38,000 employees in 66 countries. Its success is characterized by innovations from entrepreneurial employees. Merck’s operating activities come under the umbrella of Merck KGaA, in which the Merck family holds an approximately 70% interest and free shareholders own the remaining approximately 30%. In 1917 the U.S. subsidiary Merck & Co. was expropriated and has been an independent company ever since.
For more information, please visit www.merckserono.com or www.merckgroup.com