Proxygen Announces Strategic Collaboration with Merck to Develop Molecular Glue Degraders
Proxygen, a leader in the discovery and development of molecular glue degraders, announced today that the company has entered into a strategic multi-year research collaboration and license agreement with Merck. Proxygen is eligible to receive up to €495 million ($554 million at the average USD/EUR FX rate of Q1 2022) in continuous R&D funding, upfront and success-based pre-clinical, clinical, regulatory, and commercial milestones, as well as additional royalty payments. Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will jointly identify and develop molecular glue degraders up to a clinical candidate stage.
“We are incredibly excited to start this long-term collaboration with Merck, a globally recognized player in the pharmaceutical industry that shares our drive towards dynamic innovation for the benefit of patients. The partnership validates the unique potential of Proxygen’s glue degrader platform and strategically leverages our common strengths in the targeted protein degradation field,” says Dr. Bernd Boidol, CEO of Proxygen.
Molecular glue degraders re-direct the cell’s own quality control machinery towards disease-causing proteins, inducing their selective and complete elimination. Because of their capability to modulate protein classes that would not be amenable to traditional drug discovery approaches, glue degraders hold the promise of unlocking a large proportion of the undruggable target space and delivering innovative therapies for diseases with high medical need. The lack of scalable discovery strategies has however so far hindered the full exploitation of the clinical potential of molecular glue degraders.
By streamlining and fully integrating cutting-edge genomic, proteomic, and biochemical technologies, Proxygen has successfully developed a highly versatile glue degrader discovery engine. The ligase-agnostic screening approach enables the specific and unbiased identification of molecular glue degraders against difficult-to-drug or completely undruggable targets at large scale. The vast amounts of know-how and data generated in the discovery and chemical optimization of degrader molecules continuously improve the understanding of this novel modality and contribute to Proxygen’s pioneering role in the molecular glue degrader space.
Founded in 2020, Proxygen is focused on the discovery and development of molecular glue degraders against targets of unmet medical need across various indications. While advancing its internal programs towards clinical development, the company also maintains strategic partnerships to co-create synergies along the drug development pipeline. With its headquarters and laboratory operations in Vienna, Austria, Proxygen employs talent both locally and remotely all over Europe. For more information, please visit www.proxygen.com.
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