Issue Date: May 4, 2009
Bayer Licenses Ardea Compounds
Bayer HealthCare will pay up to $407 million for access to Ardea Biosciences' small-molecule inhibitors of mitogen-activated ERK kinase (MEK). The San Diego-based biotech firm will receive $35 million up-front, as well as milestone and royalty payments. In return, it is giving Bayer exclusive global rights to all of its MEK inhibitors. Ardea's lead MEK inhibitor, RDEA119, is in Phase I studies for use in a number of tumor types, and it has the potential to be used in combination with Nexavar, the liver and kidney cancer drug Bayer codeveloped with Onyx Pharmaceuticals. Ardea says the second-generation compound is highly selective for MEK, believed to play a key role in cancer cell proliferation, death, and metastasis.
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