GSK, Merck partner up to develop cancer immunotherapy in $4.2 billion deal

Feb. 5, 2019

GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to pay up to $4.2 billion Merck for the rights to  bintrafusp alfa, a next-generation immunotherapy. Also known as M7824, Merck will receive an upfront payment of approximately $342 million for the drug and is eligible for more depending on development milestones in lung cancer.

Merck is responsible for any future U.S. sales, while GSK will account for all other sales.

The M7824 drug, a fusion protein that triggers two immune responses to cancer cells, is being tested on 10 tumor types and was recently shown to delay the progression of a certain type of lung cancer for at least 9 and a half months in half of the trial participants.

Merck has already started a mid-stage phase II trial in non-small cell lung cancer, comparing M7824 directly Merck’s Keytruda.

Read the full GSK release