Proteros and Merck sign new research agreement on epigenetic target


German biotech company Proteros biostructures has signed a second research agreement with Merck Sharp & Dohme in the US to develop small molecule compounds against an additional epigenetic target for the potential treatment of various cancers.

The companies signed the initial agreement in October last year.

Under the new agreement, Proteros will receive an upfront payment and research funding, as well as development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments of up to $167m, including tiered royalties.

Proteros biostructures CEO Dr Torsten Neuefeind said: “We are pleased to expand our relationship with MSD just one year after starting our first collaboration in epigenetic drug discovery.

“This new collaboration will benefit from our previous and ongoing work with the team at MSD and we look forward to a further successful partnership, which potentially could transform the treatment of many cancers.”

"We are pleased to expand our relationship with MSD just one year after starting our first collaboration in epigenetic drug discovery."

Epigenetics addresses a new paradigm in the organisation of genetic information and covers a class of enzymes and various potential drug targets.

Epigenetic changes provide the potential to reverse disease processes.

The nucleosomal epigenetic assay technologies (NEAT) and the structure guided discovery platform of Proteros allow the opening of gateways to address epigenetic mechanisms for new medicines.

Under the initial agreement, MSD obtained access to Proteros’ technology and structure guided discovery platform.

Proteros received up to $126m in research, development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments.