Merck Serono, a division of Merck, has announced that a global licensing, co-development, and commercialisation agreement has been signed with BeiGene Co Ltd, a biotech research and development company in Beijing, for BeiGene-283.
The compound is a second-generation BRAF inhibitor for the treatment of cancer that is currently in preclinical development. It is expected to enter clinical development next year. It was discovered and developed in the People’s Republic of China by BeiGene. BRAF inhibitors target a protein (BRAF) that is a downstream component of the MAPK* signalling pathway, which is thought to promote cancer cell growth and is disregulated in a number of human cancers.
Under the terms of the collaboration, BeiGene will be responsible for the development and commercialisation of BeiGene-283 in the People’s Republic of China and Merck will be responsible for the development and commercialisation of BGB-283 for the rest of the world. BeiGene will receive an undisclosed upfront payment and is eligible to receive further payments for the achievement of clinical development milestones in both the People’s Republic of China and rest of the world, commercial milestones, and up to double digit royalties on net sales. This collaboration further underscores Merck’s goal to provide innovative medicines for patients with cancer in the People’s Republic of China and throughout the world.
“Today’s announcement reflects our commitment to forge strategic partnerships in China with companies focusing on innovation.” said Dr. Susan Jane Herbert, Head of Global Business Development and Strategy for Merck Serono. “The collaboration with BeiGene brings together two teams with a common interest in finding solutions in the battle against cancer.”
John Oyler, CEO of BeiGene commented: “We are very much looking forward to collaborating with Merck around BeiGene-283. Our collaboration will accelerate the global development and commercialisation of this novel, China-discovered oncology innovation, something we could not have achieved alone.”
*mitogen-activated protein kinase