Merck Serono and Domain Therapeutics have entered into a development and licensing agreement to develop positive allosteric modulators of metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 to treat for Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.

Domain Therapeutics will provide optimised compounds that have been developed from their proprietary chemical series.

Under the agreement, Domain Therapeutics will receive €2m in upfront payment and research funding, and is eligible to receive up to €132m in milestones for the first two products, including undisclosed royalties.

Metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 is considered to be a potential therapeutic target for Parkinson’s disease. Allosteric modulation of these receptors is believed to exert regulatory activity on glutamate-mediated neurotransmission.