Merck has paid $20 million for a cancer drug created by a team of scientists at Harvard.
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The payment is the highest upfront cash payment Harvard has ever received from a pharma licensing deal, and the Harvard team is expected to collect milestone payments and tiered royalties in the future.
The global market for cancer vaccines is expected to reach a value of $8.4 billion by 2020, according to a report available from Research and Markets, but this value could be higher if pharma companies continue to invest in academic-industry licenses.
The team, headed by Harvard chemical biologist Matthew Shair, has reportedly developed a set of minute molecule chemical compounds able to bind with a biological target, allowing for the treatment of cancers such as acute myeloid leukaemia.
The team has been working on the program for four years with financial support coming from Harvard's Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator. Harvard has yet to reveal how close the program is to starting clinical trials.
The global immunotherapy drugs market will grow at a CAGR of 12.8% by 2020, as forecast in an industry report.
Major pharmaceutical and biotech companies are increasingly outsourcing as means to fill discovery pipelines, as discussed in a recent drug discovery report.
The pharma industry benefits from the innovation and expertise of the research teams, while the teams gain access to extensive resources and financial support. This partnership trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. ■
A significant heavy rainfall event is forecast for the Southwest as a mid-level low and anomalously high moisture associated with a remnant tropical wave help to enhance storm development associated with an already active monsoon.