) recently announced that it entered into an exclusive license
agreement with Copenhagen, Denmark-based Symphogen A/S for the
worldwide development and commercialization of oncology candidate,
As per the terms of the agreement, Merck KGaA will make an
upfront payment of €20 million to Symphogen A/S and will also make
payments based on the achievement of development, regulatory and
sales milestones. Once the candidate is launched, Symphogen will be
entitled to royalties on net worldwide sales.
Sym004 is currently in phase I/II studies for the treatment of
patients diagnosed with advanced KRAS wild-type metastatic
colorectal cancer (mCRC) who previously progressed under treatment
with standard chemotherapy and a commercialized anti-EGFR
monoclonal antibody (mAb).
Additionally Sym004 is being studied in an open-label phase II
study being conducted in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and
neck (SCCHN) patients who previously failed to respond to an
The addition of Sym004 will strengthen Merck KGaA's early-stage
oncology pipeline. Merck KGaA's oncology portfolio currently
includes drugs like Erbitux indicated for the treatment of patients
with KRAS wild-type mCRC and SCCHN.
Erbitux was originally developed by ImClone LLC, which is now a
wholly-owned subsidiary of
Eli Lilly and Co.
). Merck KGaA has the right to market Erbitux outside the US and
Canada. The drug is jointly developed and marketed by Eli Lilly and
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.
) in the US, Japan and Canada.
We note that Merck KGaA was in the news recently due to a
collaboration agreement signed between
Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd.
) and Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA, for the
co-development and commercialization of a portfolio of biosimilar
compounds in oncology, primarily focused on monoclonal antibodies
Merck KGaA currently retains a Zacks #4 Rank (short-term Sell
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