Merck & Co., Inc. today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Insmed Inc. (Nasdaq CM: INSM), to purchase Insmed's portfolio of follow-on biologic therapeutic candidates and its commercial manufacturing facilities located in Boulder, Colo. (Boulder facilities).
"Insmed's pipeline of follow-on biologic candidates presents the opportunity to expedite Merck's entry into the biologics marketplace as well as providing unique manufacturing resources and an experienced team of protein experts," said Frank K. Clyburn senior vice president and general manager Merck BioVentures. "This agreement represents a strong strategic fit for Merck as we aggressively expand and advance our portfolio of developmental follow-on biologics."
Under the terms of the agreement, Merck, through an affiliate, will pay Insmed $130 million in cash to acquire all rights to the Boulder facilities and Insmed's pipeline of follow-on biologic candidates. The Boulder facilities comprise 50,000 square feet of biologics process development analytical laboratory and manufacturing facilities. Insmed's follow-on biologics portfolio includes INS-19, an investigational recombinant granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) that will be evaluated in Phase III clinical trials for its ability to prevent infections in patients with cancer receiving chemotherapy and INS-20, a pegylated recombinant G-CSF designed to allow for less frequent dosing, that is currently in Phase I clinical trials.
The agreement provides for initial payments of up to $10 million for INS-19 and INS-20. Merck will pay Insmed the remaining balance upon closing of the transaction, without any further milestone or royalty obligations. Merck plans to offer positions to staff at the Boulder facilities.
About Merck BioVentures
In December 2008, Merck announced the establishment of a new division called Merck BioVentures, which capitalizes on the Company's industry-leading expertise in the manufacture of biologics, as well as proprietary technologies that streamline the production of protein-based therapies. By combining Merck's traditional strengths with the latest scientific innovations in protein manufacturing, Merck BioVentures will position the Company as a leader in the emerging field of follow-on biologics and provides a strong foundation for the development of novel protein therapeutics.
Merck & Co., Inc. is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company dedicated to putting patients first. Established in 1891, Merck discovers, develops, manufactures and markets vaccines and medicines to address unmet medical needs. The Company devotes extensive efforts to increase access to medicines through far-reaching programs that not only donate Merck medicines but help deliver them to the people who need them. Merck also publishes unbiased health information as a not-for-profit service. For more information, visit www.merck.com.