Merck and Pfizer together against type 2 diabetes
Two big pharma companies will work on an investigational oral sodium glucose cotransporter (SGLT2) inhibitor being evaluated for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Ertugliflozin is Phase III ready, with trials expected to begin later in 2013.
"We are pleased to join forces with Merck in the battle against type 2 diabetes and the burden that it poses on global health," said John Young, president and general manager, Pfizer Primary Care.
Under the terms of the agreement, Merck, through a subsidiary, and Pfizer will collaborate on the clinical development and commercialization of ertugliflozin and ertugliflozin-containing fixed-dose combinations with metformin and Januvia (sitagliptin) tablets.
Merck will continue to retain the rights to its existing portfolio of sitagliptin-containing products. Pfizer has received an upfront payment and milestones of $60 million and will be eligible for additional payments associated with the achievement of pre-specified future clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones. Merck and Pfizer will share potential revenues and certain costs on a 60/40 percent basis.
"We believe ertugliflozin has the potential to complement our strong portfolio of investigational and marketed products, and we look forward to collaborating with Pfizer on its development," said Nancy Thornberry, senior vice president and Diabetes and Endocrinology franchise head, Merck Research Laboratories. ■