The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

Biotechnology, Health and Business in Canada, the United States and Worldwide

Xenon In, Neuromed Out: Merck Nets Zero Canadian Collaborations This Week

Revolving_Door_SignYesterday, Merck signed a deal with Vancouver-based Xenon Pharmaceuticals.  Merck will fund the R&D and in return gets an option on the output — small molecule cardiovascular drugs (if at first you don’t succeed…).  Xenon describes the deal as generating

option exercise fees, research, development and regulatory milestone payments of up to US$94.5million for the first target and up to US$89.5 million for each subsequent target selected for drug discovery.

While noting that the milestones, for biobucks, “aren’t sky-high,” the In Vivo Blog described the deal as “a big step forward for Xenon.”

No sooner was the Xenon press release out, though, than Neuromed (also based in Vancouver) announced that Merck was pulling out of their 3-year collaboration looking for NCE’s targeting N-type calcium channels.  According to Dr. Christopher Gallen, President & CEO of Neuromed:

“[t]he molecules generated in our collaboration, while effective in disease models, did not demonstrate the profile needed to enter the next phase of testing, including human clinical trials.”

Neuromed is still working on its lead drug candidate — an XR formulation EXALGO™ (hydromorphone HCl) — and a development program for oral drug candidates to block T-type calcium channels for pain, epilepsy and hypertension indications.

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2 responses to “Xenon In, Neuromed Out: Merck Nets Zero Canadian Collaborations This Week

  1. Pingback: Monday Deal Review: June 15, 2009 « The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

  2. Pingback: Post-Vacation Brain Dump: Deal Developments « The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

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