Merck signs $290m deal with Orion Corporation for mCRPC candidate ODM-208


Merck has signed a global development and commercialization deal worth $290 million with Orion Corporation for the latter’s investigational candidate ODM-208 and other drugs that target cytochrome P450 11A1 (CYP11A1).

ODM-208, which is an oral, non-steroidal inhibitor of CYP11A1, is presently being assessed by the Finnish pharma company in a phase 2 clinical trial for the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).

Dr. Dean Y. Li — Merck Research Laboratories president said: “Targeting CYP11A1 provides a compelling approach to suppressing the production of steroid hormones, a key driver of prostate cancer.

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“We believe ODM-208 has the potential to complement our existing program in prostate cancer and look forward to working with the team at Orion.”

Merck signs $290m deal with Orion Corporation for mCRPC candidate ODM-208

Merck signs $290m deal with Orion Corporation for mCRPC candidate ODM-208. Photo courtesy of Merck & Co., Inc.

As per the terms of the deal, Orion Corporation and Merck through its subsidiary — Merck Sharp & Dohme LLC, will jointly develop and co-commercialize ODM-208.

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Orion Corporation will have the responsibility for manufacturing clinical and commercial supply of the non-steroidal CYP11A1 inhibitor.

Additionally, the agreement gives the two firms an option of converting the initial co-development and co-commercialization deal for the investigational steroid synthesis inhibitor into a worldwide exclusive license to Merck.

If exercised, the option will give full responsibility to Merck for all accrued and future development and commercialization expenses related to the ODM-208 program.

Based on the regulatory approval of ODM-208, Orion Corporation will be entitled to get milestone payments pertaining to the candidate’s progress in the development and commercialization of the investigational steroid synthesis inhibitor along with tiered double-digit royalties on sales.

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Timo Lappalainen — Orion Corporation president and CEO said: “We are delighted to enter this collaboration with Merck, which is committed to extend and improve the lives of patients with cancer and has a strong commercial presence globally.

“This agreement positions Orion to harness the potential of ODM-208 for the good of patients while continuing to invest in our other programs without compromising our financial targets.”

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