Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Daiichi Sankyo and Merck Join Forces in a Worldwide Partnership to Develop and Commercialize Three Daiichi Sankyo DXd Antibody-Drug Conjugates

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Daiichi Sankyo and Merck have officially announced a groundbreaking global partnership to collaborate on the development and commercialization of three innovative Daiichi Sankyo antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) – patritumab deruxtecan, ifinatamab deruxtecan, and raludotatug deruxtecan. These ADC candidates are designed to target and deliver a cytotoxic payload within cancer cells expressing specific surface antigens. This partnership aims to advance the field of ADCs in treating various forms of cancer.

Under this collaboration, Daiichi Sankyo and Merck will co-develop and potentially co-commercialize these ADC candidates worldwide, excluding Japan, where Daiichi Sankyo will maintain exclusive rights. Daiichi Sankyo will take charge of manufacturing and supply responsibilities.

Each of these ADCs is currently undergoing clinical development to treat multiple solid tumors, either as standalone treatments or in combination with other therapies. Notably, patritumab deruxtecan has already received a Breakthrough Therapy Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of certain lung cancers.

Merck is set to make significant financial contributions to this collaboration. The company will provide a $4 billion upfront payment to Daiichi Sankyo, along with an additional $1.5 billion in continuation payments spread over the next 24 months. Moreover, there is the possibility of additional payments of up to $16.5 billion, which would be contingent on reaching future sales milestones, potentially bringing the total consideration to an impressive $22 billion.

Regarding financial responsibilities, Merck will cover 75% of the first $2 billion in research and development expenses for raludotatug deruxtecan. Other costs and profits, aside from Japan, where Daiichi Sankyo retains exclusive rights, will be shared equally between the two companies.

The collaboration between Daiichi Sankyo and Merck is anticipated to have a substantial impact on both companies’ financial performance and global commercial revenue potential. These ADCs have the potential to significantly transform cancer treatment, and the collaboration represents a major step forward in advancing precision cancer medicine.

As this collaboration unfolds, Merck will record a pretax charge of $5.5 billion, impacting its financial results for the near term. However, the long-term benefits are expected to enhance the corporate and shareholder value of Daiichi Sankyo and Merck. The partnership reflects a shared commitment to developing cutting-edge therapies that can make a meaningful difference in the lives of cancer patients worldwide.

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