Merck has snagged Edinburgh-based IOmet for an undisclosed sum, adding a preclinical pipeline of therapies that target the IDO/TDO pathways that may help spur an immune system attack on cancer.
A leader in the checkpoint inhibition field with the pioneering Keytruda, Merck is gaining access to technology that promises to target enzymes that are often overexpressed in cancers, leading to tryptophan depletion and high tumor levels of the breakdown product, kynurenine, an imbalance that tamps down the immune response.
As a result, IDO/TDO are two pathways that have attracted considerable attention from pharma companies zeroing in on immunotherapy. Roche struck a deal with India’s Curadev last April, paying $25 million up front and offering $530 million in milestones for access to its IDO/TDO work. Roche is considered just one step behind Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) with the PD-L1 checkpoint program for atezolizumab.
Incyte has already paired with Merck’s Keytruda–and other checkpoints–on its IDO1 drug epacadostat (INCB24360).
“The acquisition of IOmet is a further example of Merck’s commitment to fully realizing the potential of this rapidly evolving field through our existing innovative portfolio as well as the acquisition of promising immunotherapeutic candidates,” said Dr. Eric Rubin, vice president and therapeutic area head of oncology early-stage development at Merck Research Laboratories.
By John Carroll
Source: Fierce Biotech
AbbVie will be among the stocks closing out a busy earnings week. Earnings season tends to draw a lot of interest from investors, but it’s not always the best indicator of a stock’s overall trajectory.
Pfizer has bought privately held Amplyx Pharmaceuticals for an undisclosed sum, gaining experimental antifungal and antiviral treatments as the world’s attention turns more toward infectious diseases.
Surgical Theater’s technology builds 3D models of an individual patient’s anatomy from CT and MRI scans to offer surgeons an immersive, 360-degree fly-through view.