Aqilion and Merck have entered an exclusive licence and strategic research partnership for the discovery, development and commercialisation of the transforming growth factor-β-activated kinase 1 (TAK1) protein-small molecule inhibitors.

Under the deal, Aqilion will receive $10.6m (€10m) in upfront cash payment from Merck and also eligible for up to $1,015m (€950m) in potential development and commercialisation milestone payments, along with tiered royalties on global net sales.

The partnership combines the experience of Aqilion in the selective TAK1 inhibitors discovery with the drug discovery and development capabilities of Merck.

It will aim to develop advanced TAK1 therapeutics for various inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, including neurological diseases.

Aqilion will handle the design and synthesis of the new small molecule TAK1 inhibitors.

Merck will be responsible for leading the preclinical pharmacology and biology trials.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Aqilion CEO Sarah Fredriksson said: “We are delighted and proud to announce this collaboration with Merck as it validates our business strategy of generating highly innovative discovery projects in combination with pro-active business development and early deal-making.

“We are looking forward to working with Merck as this will speed up the process of bringing novel effective treatments to conditions with high unmet medical needs.”

The company develops new therapeutics to treat diseases that are caused by chronic inflammation and dysfunctional immune reactions, including autoimmune diseases.

Earlier this month, Merck reported $13.83bn worldwide sales, representing a 2% increase in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2022 from $13.52bn in the previous year’s quarter.