Merck has signed a deal with Canada-based Xenon to discover and develop small molecule candidates for cardiovascular disease.
Xenon, a genetics-based drug discovery and development firm, will carry out validation studies using its clinical genetics platform, in addition to drug discovery. The company will deal with preclinical development of small molecule compounds for selected targets.
Merck has exclusive rights to any drug resulting from the collaboration, though Xenon will be allowed to develop any candidates that Merck does not take on. Xenon will receive $95.5 million for the first target and up to $89.5 for each subsequent target selected for drug discovery. Merck will also pay undisclosed royalties on sales of products resulting from the collaboration.
"This new alliance, whihc represents our fifth partnership with a major pharmaceutical company, once again highlights Xenon's R&D capabilities and validates our drug discovery platform." commented Michael Hayden, CSO of Xenon.