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Merck & Co. has returned rights to ridaforolimus, a small-molecule cancer drug candidate it had licensed from Ariad Pharmaceuticals. The companies entered a $564 million development deal in 2010, and Merck filed for approval in the U.S. and elsewhere the next year. However, it withdrew a European application in late 2012 after U.S. regulators said additional clinical trials were required before approval. As of the end of 2012, Merck had paid Ariad $75 million in licensing and milestone fees. In a new deal, Merck is licensing undisclosed small molecules from Copenhagen-based Nuevolution. The agreement is the second between the firms but the first preclinical compound licensing deal for Nuevolution.
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