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Oncology

Merck strikes $2.5 billion deal with 2 companies for KRAS inhibitors

by Megha Satyanarayana
January 10, 2020 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 98, ISSUE 2

 

Merck & Co. has entered an exclusive licensing agreement with Taiho Pharmaceutical and Astex Pharmaceuticals for small-molecule cancer drugs that inhibit KRAS. Merck will pay the companies $50 million up front and up to $2.5 billion more depending on drug development and sales milestones. KRAS, one of the frequently mutated genes in cancer, has proved a challenging target for drug development. Taiho and Astex are both part of Japan’s Otsuka Pharmaceutical.

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