Pharmaceutical companies ImClone and Bristol-Myers Squibb have signed agreements with Merck Sorono to co-develop and commercialise Merck’s Erbitux (cetuximab) in Japan.

The drug is used for the treatment of epidermal growth factor receptor-expressing metastatic colorectal cancer.

The companies have also expressed interest in researching the drug for the treatment of other cancers.

They will also share profits / losses realised from leveraging off their already strong market presence in Japan.

Merck Serono Japan will distribute the product and record the sales for the collaboration.

Merck Serono will receive 50% of the profit / loss from sales in Japan while ImClone and Bristol-Myers Squibb will each receive 25%.

In addition to a percentage of the profits, ImClone will receive from Merck Sorono a royalty equal to 4.75% of total net sales in Japan.