Merck Serono signs partnership agreement with Apitope on MS treatment
GENEVA Merck Serono announced Tuesday that it signed a research, development and commercialization agreement with Apitope Technology to obtain exclusive worldwide rights to Apitope’s ATX-MS-1467, a drug candidate Apitope is investigating as a treatment for multiple sclerosis.
Apitope has completed a phase 1 trial of the candidate. The drug is a peptide-based therapeutic designed to induce immunological tolerance of the body’s T-cells to key autoantigens involved in MS.
Under the terms of the agreement, Apitope will receive an upfront payment and will have initial responsibility to further develop ATX-MS-1467, while Merck Serono funds the costs. Merck Serono will take over responsibility once the drug undergoes phase 2 clinical trials. The upfront payment and milestone payments could total up to $202.8 million, not counting royalties and net sales of products resulting from the collaboration. The precise amounts of the upfront payments and milestone payments were not disclosed.
Merck Serono is a subsidiary of Darmstadt, Germany-based Merck KGaA, which is distinct from the United States-based Merck & Co. Apitope Technology is based in Hasselt, Belgium.
Assurant Health announces benefits partnership with Take Care
MILWAUKEE Assurant Health has announced that its health plan members can now receive in-network benefits at all Take Care Clinics.
With the addition of the 322 Take Care Clinics, which are located within Walgreens stores, Assurant Health customers with Individual Medical, Short Term Medical and Real Choices Small Group plans have access to more than 800 retail health clinics throughout the United States.
“This agreement is part of our continuing commitment to give our customers more choices and convenient access to affordable health care options,” said Scott Krienke, SVP of product lines for Assurant Health.
Added Peter Miller, president and CEO of Take Care Health Systems, “Our goal is to provide access to care to as many individuals as possible. Partnering with companies like Assurant Health allows us to offer our model of care to more individuals across the country, and this national contract sets the stage for continued coverage as we expand our model to new markets and states.”
FDA approves generic version of Medicis’ Loprox
ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic version of Medicis’ Loprox, FDA records show.
The agency approved Paddock’s ciclopirox gel in the 0.77 percent strength on Jan. 7. The gel is used to treat seborrheic dermatitis.
Medicis’ non-acne skin medicines had sales of $173 million in 2007, according to Medicis financial data, which did not list separate figures for Loprox. Nycomed also makes a generic version of the 0.77 formulation, while Medicis continues to market the 1 percent formulation.