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To strengthen the oncology portfolio, Merck collaborated with Seattle Genetics, and Gilead acquired

Updated: Jun 27, 2023

Merck and Seattle Genetics collaboration

Merck has announced the strategic collaboration with Seattle Genetics to strengthen its portfolio. Merck and Seattle Genetics will co-develop and co-commercialize the antibody drug-conjugate ladiratuzumab vedotin, a drug developed by Seattle Genetics. Merck will also acquire an equity stake worth 1 billion. The companies agreed to co-develop Tuksya for HER-positive cancers outside the US, Canada, and Europe.

Ladiratuzumab vedotin is Phase 2 development for breast cancer and solid tumor. With this agreement, the companies are planning to develop ladiratuzumab as single and combination therapy with Keytruda, for triple-negative breast cancer, hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, and other LIV-1-expressing solid tumors.

For developing ladiratuzumab, both the companies will share the profits jointly worldwide. Seattle Genetics is responsible for the U.S. and Canada approval, Merck is responsible for approval in Europe and other countries.

Merck has received the global rights to commercialize Tuksya, a small tyrosine kinase inhibitor developed for treating HER2-positive cancers in Asia, Middle East, Latin America, and other regions outside the US, Canada, and Europe. Seattle Genetics will receive $125 million upfront and another $65 million when the product achieves the milestones.

Merck will co-fund some portion of the global development programs of Tuksya, which has several trials across HER2-positive cancers. Merck will be responsible for conducting clinical trials in the countries of its territory.

Gilead will acquire Immunomedics

Gilead has announced that it entered an agreement to acquire Immunomedics, by paying $88 per share in cash. The transaction is worth $21 billion.

With this acquisition, Gilead will acquire Trodelvy, an antibody-drug candidate approved for treating triple-negative breast cancer, along with other cancers. The company is expecting approval in Europe in the first half of 2021.

The drug is also in registrational Phase 2 trial in bladder cancer.

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