Merck KGaA eyes ‘DNA damage’ cancer drugs with major R&D deal

Dec. 3, 2020

Merck KGaA has teed up $6.8 billion in investments into a company hunting for new cancer treatments.

This week, the German company announced that it is fronting Artios Pharma Limited $30 million and has signed a three-year research deal with a host of potential milestone payments. Under the agreement, the two companies will research DNA damage inhibitors, which block a cancer cell’s DNA repair mechanism. Merck KGaA will then have the rights to identify up to eight compounds for development and commercialization.

Merck KGaA has other DNA damage drugs in early development and two treatments from this drug class — one from GlaxoSmithKline and another from AstraZeneca — have already been approved.

Read the Reuters report.