|Company||Merck & Co. Inc.|
|Molecular Target||Interleukin-23 (IL-23)|
|Mechanism of Action||Antibody|
|Therapeutic Modality||Biologic: Antibody|
|Latest Stage of Development||Phase III|
|Indication Details||Treat moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis|
|Partner||Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.|
Tildrakizumab was designed to block interleukin-23, a cytokine that plays an important role in managing the immune system and autoimmune disease. Originally developed by Schering-Plough, this drug is now part of Merck‘s clinical program, following that company’s acquisition of Schering-Plough.
Sun Pharmaceutical acquired worldwide rights to tildrakizumab for use in all human indications from Merck in exchange for an upfront payment of U.S. $80 million. Upon product approval, Sun Pharmaceutical will be responsible for regulatory activities, including subsequent submissions, pharmacovigilance, post approval studies, manufacturing and commercialization of the approved product. 
As of March 2014, the drug was in phase III clinical trials for plaque psoriasis. The two trials will enroll a total of nearly 2000 patients, and preliminary results are expected in June, 2015. 
- 1 Statement On A Nonproprietary Name Adopted By The USAN Council – Tildrakizumab, American Medical Association.
Sun Pharma and Merck & Co. Inc. Enter into Licensing Agreement for Tildrakizumab, MK 3222
WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., and MUMBAI, India, Wednesday, September 17, 2014 (BUSINESS WIRE) – Merck & Co., Inc., (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Reuters: SUN.BO, Bloomberg: SUNP IN, NSE: SUNPHARMA, BSE: 524715) through their respective subsidiaries, today announced an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement for Merck’s investigational therapeutic antibody candidate, tildrakizumab, (MK-3222), which is currently being evaluated in Phase 3 registration trials for the treatment of chronic plaque psoriasis, a skin ailment.
Under terms of the agreement, Sun Pharma will acquire worldwide rights to tildrakizumab for use in all human indications from Merck in exchange for an upfront payment of U.S. $80 million. Merck will continue all clinical development and regulatory activities, which will be funded by Sun Pharma. Upon product approval, Sun Pharma will be responsible for regulatory activities, including subsequent submissions, pharmacovigilance, post approval studies, manufacturing and commercialization of the approved product. Merck is eligible to receive undisclosed payments associated with regulatory (including product approval) and sales milestones, as well as tiered royalties ranging from mid-single digit through teen percentage rates on sales.
“Consistent with our previously announced global initiative to sharpen our commercial and R&D focus, including prioritizing our late stage pipeline candidates, we are pleased to enter into this agreement with Sun Pharma to help realize the potential of tildrakizumab for patients with chronic plaque psoriasis,” said Iain D. Dukes, Ph.D., senior vice president, Business Development and Licensing, Merck Research Laboratories.
“Sun Pharma is very pleased to enter into this collaboration with Merck, a recognized leader in the field of inflammatory/immunology therapies, for this late-stage candidate for chronic plaque psoriasis,” said Kirti Ganorkar, senior vice president, Business Development, Sun Pharma. “This collaboration is a part of our strategy towards building our pipeline of innovative dermatology products in a market with strong growth potential.”
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the requirements under the Hart Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.
Tildrakizumab is an investigational humanized, anti-IL-23p19 monoclonal antibody that binds specifically to IL-23p19 and is therefore designed to selectively block the cytokine IL-23. Human genetics suggest that inhibiting IL-23 is effective for treating inflammatory conditions. In clinical studies for the treatment of chronic plaque psoriasis, tildrakizumab demonstrates efficacy in blocking inflammation by blocking IL-23. Other potential indications, which may be evaluated in future, include psoriatic arthritis and Crohn’s Disease.
Further details of the Phase 3 clinical trials can be found at: http://clinicaltrials.gov
Today’s Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care 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 healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
About Sun Pharma
Established in 1983, listed since 1994 and headquartered in India, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Reuters: SUN.BO, Bloomberg: SUNP IN, NSE: SUNPHARMA, BSE: 524715) is an international specialty pharmaceutical company with over 75% sales from global markets. It manufactures and markets a large basket of pharmaceutical formulations as branded generics as well as generics in US, India and several other markets across the world. For the year ending March 2014, overall revenues were at US$2.7 billion, of which US contributed US$1.6 billion. In India, the company is a leader in niche therapy areas of psychiatry, neurology, cardiology, nephrology, gastroenterology, orthopedics and ophthalmology. The company has strong skills in product development, process chemistry, and manufacturing of complex dosage forms. More information about the company can be found at www.sunpharma.com.
|Source||Humanized (from mouse)|
|Molar mass||144.4 kg/mol|
///////Sun Pharma, Merck & Co. Inc, Licensing Agreement, Tildrakizumab, mk 3222