Merck Enters Exclusive Worldwide License Agreement with Teijin Pharma for Investigational Antibody Candidate Targeting Tau


May 25, 2017 7:00 am ET

Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada,
today announced that it has entered into an exclusive worldwide license
agreement with Teijin Pharma for the development, manufacture and
commercialization of an investigational preclinical antibody candidate
targeting the protein tau. Changes in tau are associated
with a number of diseases affecting the nervous system, including
Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

“Securing alliances with leading industry partners is a key part of The
Teijin Group strategy,” said Mr. Akihisa Nabeshima, president, Teijin
Pharma. “Teijin Pharma believes that Merck’s strong neuroscience
expertise makes it well suited to maximize the potential of this

Under terms of the agreement Merck will have exclusive world-wide rights
to develop, manufacture and commercialize the anti-tau antibody. In
exchange, Merck will make an upfront payment to Teijin Pharma who is
also eligible to receive development, regulatory and sales milestone
payments. In addition, Teijin Pharma will receive royalties on product
sales and retains an option to co-promote an approved product in Japan.

“Teijin Pharma scientists have made important progress to advance this
investigational anti-tau antibody to this stage of development,” said
Darryle Schoepp, vice president, neuroscience discovery, Merck Research
Laboratories. “Merck remains committed to developing meaningful
therapeutic options for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and other
neurological diseases.”

The addition of this antibody targeting tau will complement Merck’s
portfolio of candidates being investigated for the treatment of
Alzheimer’s disease. This includes [18F]-MK-6240, a tau ligand currently
being evaluated as a potential Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
imaging agent for quantifying the brain burden of neurofibrillary tangle
pathology in people with AD. Merck is evaluating verubecestat (MK-8931)
an investigational small molecule inhibitor of the beta-site amyloid
precursor protein cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1), in a Phase 3 study of
people with prodromal AD (APECS).

About Merck

For more than a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical
company known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been
inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of
the world’s most challenging diseases. Through our prescription
medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, we
work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver
innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to
increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs
and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of
research to advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that
threaten people and communities around the world – including cancer,
cardio-metabolic diseases, emerging animal diseases, Alzheimer’s disease
and infectious diseases including HIV and Ebola. For more information,
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Pam Eisele, 267-305-3558
Ian McConnell, 908-740-1921
Teri Loxam, 908-740-1986
Amy Klug, 908-740-1898

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