Merck Acquires Novel Neurodegenerative Disease Target With Calporta Buy
The deal worth up to $576m gives Merck what Calporta founding investor Avalon believes is the most advanced program targeting TRPML1, a lysosomal ion channel implicated in neurodegenerative diseases when the lysosome stops clearing debris from cells.
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The drug maker will spend up to $610m to acquire Caraway, with a lead product candidate targeting TRPML1, a pathway implicated in a number of neurodegenerative diseases.
Company is ‘anxious to understand’ how to utilize the agency’s views on importance of biomarkers, exec notes in earnings call. Merck & Co. and Pfizer advance COVID-19 therapeutics into Phase III. Pfizer is awaiting FDA risk-benefit assessment of JAK-1 inhibitors Xeljanz and abrocitinib.
Merck pays undisclosed upfront fees and promises up to $500m for milestones under licensing and collaboration agreement. Meanwhile, Tetraphase and Xerava are being acquired by La Jolla, after previous bids by Melinta and AcelRx.