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Merck and Moderna take option by Merck for joint development dealing of investigational personalized cancer vaccine

Merck has exercised its option to jointly develop and commercialize personalized cancer vaccine (PCV) mRNA-4157/V940 pursuant to the terms of its existing Collaboration and License Agreement.

As said in the press release, mRNA-4157/V940 is currently being evaluated in combination with KEYTRUDA, Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy, as adjuvant treatment for patients with high-risk melanoma in a Phase 2 clinical trial being conducted by Moderna.

Stephen Hoge, President of Moderna, said; “We have been collaborating with Merck on PCVs since 2016, and together we have made significant progress in advancing mRNA-4157 as an investigational personalized cancer treatment used in combination with KEYTRUDA. With data expected this quarter on PCV, we continue to be excited about the future and the impact mRNA can have as a new treatment paradigm in the management of cancer. Continuing our strategic alliance with Merck is an important milestone as we continue to grow our mRNA platform with promising clinical programs in multiple therapeutic areas.”

Under the agreement, originally established in 2016 and amended in 2018, Merck will pay Moderna $250 million to exercise its option for personalized cancer vaccines including mRNA-4157/V940 and will collaborate on development and commercialization.The payment willbe expensed by Merck in the third quarter of 2022 and included in its non-GAAP results. Merck and Moderna will share costs and any profits equally under this worldwide collaboration.

Dr. Eliav Barr, senior vice president and head of global clinical development, chief medical officer, Merck Research Laboratories.”This long-term collaboration combining Merck’s expertise in immuno-oncology with Moderna’s pioneering mRNA technology has yielded a novel tailored vaccine approach. We look forward to working with our colleagues at Moderna to advance mRNA-4157/V940 in combination with KEYTRUDA as it aligns with our strategy to impact early-stage disease.”

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