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  Latest News  
  August 12, 2004  

BUSINESS

  Merck and DOV Pharmaceutical In Drug Pact
Partnership to focus on drugs for depression
 

MICHAEL MCCOY
 
 
 

Merck & Co. and DOV Pharmaceutical have signed an agreement for the development and commercialization of DOV’s novel triple-uptake inhibitors for depression and related psychiatric disorders.

Merck has licensed worldwide rights to DOV 21,947, now in Phase I clinical trials, for all indications, and to DOV 216,303 for depression and anxiety. DOV will receive $35 million up front, up to $300 million for reaching certain milestones, and up to $120 million for hitting certain sales levels. DOV licensed DOV 216,303 from Wyeth in 1998.

“We believe that a triple-uptake inhibitor that affects the neurotransmitters norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine has the potential to offer physicians a real advance in the treatment of depression and related conditions,” says Peter S. Kim, president of Merck Research Laboratories.

The agreement is the latest in a string of drug development deals for Merck. Earlier this month it signed a pact with Pierre Fabre Medicament targeting oncology, and during June and July it signed deals with Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, and Sunesis Pharmaceuticals aimed at drugs for cancer, ocular diseases, and viral infections, respectively.

 
     
  Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2004
 


 
 
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