Merck Joins KRAS Stampede In Deal With Otsuka Affiliates
Merck & Co. is paying $50m up front to combine preclinical KRAS-target cancer compound pipelines with Astex and Taiho, both affiliates of Japan’s Otsuka. The two biotechs could realize up to $2.5bn in earnouts under the collaboration.
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Mirati executives are still being pushed to defend the safety profile for the KRAS G12C inhibitor adagrasib, which has been seen as a potential disadvantage relative to Amgen’s Lumakras.
Solid tumor-focused Taiho Oncology teams with hematological cancer specialist Astex under the Otsuka umbrella. Taiho also performs US/Canada commercialization for all three firms.
Newly published data and results presented at ESMO for Amgen’s sotorasib (AMG 510) show relatively long-lasting responses and progression-free survival in lung cancer.