Merck, Foghorn enter over Rs 3197 crore deal to Discover, Develop Novel Oncology Therapeutics
Cambridge: Foghorn Therapeutics Inc., a company advancing an unprecedented class of therapeutics targeting the chromatin regulatory system in oncology, announced that it has entered into a strategic collaboration with Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada.
The collaboration will apply Foghorn's proprietary Gene Traffic Control product platform to discover and develop novel therapeutics against a transcription factor target believed to be relevant to a broad range of cancer patients.
The target is one of Foghorn's growing number of programs emerging from the company's product platform focused on chromatin dysregulation. The chromatin system regulates which genes a cell expresses and when it expresses them. Dysregulation of the chromatin system is implicated in up to half of all cancers.
Under the collaboration agreement, Foghorn will grant Merck exclusive global rights to develop and commercialize drugs that target the dysregulation of a single transcription factor. Under the terms of the agreement, Foghorn will receive an upfront payment and research milestones and will be eligible to receive development, regulatory and commercial milestones potentially totaling up to $425 million as well as royalties on sales of any approved product from the collaboration.
"We're excited to partner with Merck given their world-renowned capabilities in cancer research and development," said Adrian Gottschalk, president, and chief executive officer of Foghorn. "Our ability to systematically drug transcription factors using our proprietary product platform opens the vast potential to discover and develop novel cancer treatments."
"There is broad evidence for the role of dysregulated transcription factors in multiple cancer types, but these have been difficult targets to the drug," said Dr Nick Haining, vice president, Discovery Oncology & Immunology, Merck Research Laboratories. "We look forward to working with Foghorn and applying their platform to identify novel candidates to drug transcription factors in cancer."