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Merck Enters License Agreement with Teijin Pharma for its Anti-Tau Alzheimer’s Candidate

KENILWORTH, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced that it has entered into an exclusive worldwide license agreement with Teijin Pharma for the development, manufacture and commercialization of an investigational preclinical antibody candidate targeting the protein tau. Changes in tau are associated with a number of diseases affecting the nervous system, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

“Securing alliances with leading industry partners is a key part of The Teijin Group strategy,” said Mr. Akihisa Nabeshima, president, Teijin Pharma. “Teijin Pharma believes that Merck’s strong neuroscience expertise makes it well suited to maximize the potential of this candidate.”

Under terms of the agreement Merck will have exclusive world-wide rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize the anti-tau antibody. In exchange, Merck will make an upfront payment to Teijin Pharma who is also eligible to receive development, regulatory and sales milestone payments. In addition, Teijin Pharma will receive royalties on product sales and retains an option to co-promote an approved product in Japan.

“Teijin Pharma scientists have made important progress to advance this investigational anti-tau antibody to this stage of development,” said Darryle Schoepp, vice president, neuroscience discovery, Merck Research Laboratories. “Merck remains committed to developing meaningful therapeutic options for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases.”

The addition of this antibody targeting tau will complement Merck’s portfolio of candidates being investigated for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. This includes [18F]-MK-6240, a tau ligand currently being evaluated as a potential Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging agent for quantifying the brain burden of neurofibrillary tangle pathology in people with AD. Merck is evaluating verubecestat (MK-8931) an investigational small molecule inhibitor of the beta-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1), in a Phase 3 study of people with prodromal AD (APECS).

About Merck

For more than a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and communities around the world – including cancer, cardio-metabolic diseases, emerging animal diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and infectious diseases including HIV and Ebola. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

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