HitGen Announces License Agreement With Merck

IndustryPRwire - HitGen Inc. is pleased to announce that HitGen and Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ USA, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, expand their collaboration with a license to develop a novel class of drugs for an early target of high interest.

The licensed compounds were identified using HitGen’s leading technology platform, which involved screening DNA encoded libraries (DEL), containing over 500 billion encoded syntheses for small molecules with drug-like properties, assembled on a broad range of structurally diverse scaffolds. Several novel small molecule lead series with novel profiles for an undisclosed target nominated by Merck & Co., Inc Kenilworth, NJ USA are the subject of this license.

Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, HitGen will grant exclusive rights to Merck & Co., Inc Kenilworth, NJ USA to develop and commercialize the licensed compounds. HitGen will be eligible for preclinical and clinical milestone payments as the project progresses, in addition to a license fee.

Today’s announcement marks another significant milestone in the long-lasting collaboration between Merck & Co., Inc Kenilworth, NJ USA and HitGen initiated in 2016 and expanded in 2018.

“We are delighted to announce another license from our collaboration with Merck & Co., Inc Kenilworth, NJ USA. The success of delivery of these licensed compounds has further demonstrated the power of our DEL platform to discover novel small molecules against a variety of targets, including those previously deemed challenging for small molecule modalities. In this case the target may be characterized as a protease class that has proved challenging for small molecule discovery. One of the many advantages of DEL is the ability to span chemical space based on elaboration of novel scaffolds, designed without any bias for structures perceived to be ligands based on earlier studies, allowing facile discovery of assets with unprecedented structures and novel biochemical profiles. The current achievement marks the continued progress and success of the discovery collaboration between the companies, spanning a range of discovery programs. We look forward to announcing future milestones as the programs progress.” said Dr. Jin Li, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of HitGen.

To date HitGen has initiated screening efforts on multiple Merck & Co Inc., Kenilworth NJ USA discovery programs. These programs are at various stages of screening, selection, synthesis, and validation. The financial terms of the license are not disclosed.

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