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Licensing In Brief

This article was originally published in Pharmaceutical Approvals Monthly

Executive Summary

Merck/Neuromed ink deal for chronic pain agent: Merck acquires Neuromed's lead compound NMED-160 for chronic pain, currently in Phase II, as well as additional agents in the class, under a licensing pact announced March 20. Potentially the first oral N-type calcium channel-blocking pain medication, NMED-160 initial indications will be for chronic pain related to osteoarthritis and lower back pain. Under the deal, Neuromed will receive $25 mil. up-front, plus research costs for at least two years, 100% of late-stage development costs and $202 mil. in milestone payments if NMED-160 is successfully launched for a single indication. If NMED-160 is approved for another indication, and if Neuromed develops another compound that is approved for two indications, Merck will pay an additional $225 mil. NMED-160 is not addictive, and the N-type calcium blocker class is more powerful than opioids and lacks the opioid side effects, Neuromed says...

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