Merck announced a deal with Lycera for its anti-inflammatory drugs that target T-helper 17 (Th17) cells and block or reduce production of the inflammation-inducing IL-17 cytokine. The deal calls for Merck to give Lycera $12 M upfront and could allow them to earn as much as $295 M additionally for reaching milestones. The drugs developed could be used to treat diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel syndrome and multiple sclerosis.
"We are delighted to be working with Merck, which brings industry leading expertise in drug discovery, development and commercialization to this collaboration," said Gary Glick, Lycera founder and CEO, "This is arguably one of the hottest targets out there." See Fierce Biotech.
Posted by Bruce Lehr March 4th 2011.