Merck, Arvinas to Study Novel Protein Degradation Technology

Apr 07, 2015

Arvinas LLC announced a strategic collaboration with Merck, whereby Arvinas’ novel PROTAC technology will be used to degrade target proteins, with the goal of creating novel therapeutics. The multi-year collaboration will encompass multiple disease targets across several therapeutic areas.

Arvinas will receive an up-front payment and funding to support Merck-related research. Additionally, Arvinas could earn up to $434 million if all research, development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments are successfully paid for products against all the targets initially selected by Merck, as well as tiered royalties.

"We look forward to working with Merck to create novel drugs to address difficult targets, and we believe this alliance will maximize the value of Arvinas’ very exciting and innovative protein degradation technology," said Manuel Litchman, M.D., president and CEO of Arvinas.

PROTACs, or proteolysis-targeting chimeras, are bifunctional small molecules that target proteins for degradation and removal from a cell. These molecules induce a cell’s own quality control machinery to bind to a particular protein and “label” it for degradation, thus removing a protein from the system.

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