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Home Industry News MSD signs osteoporosis agreement

MSD signs osteoporosis agreement

26th September 2008

Merck, Sharp and Dohme (MSD) has signed a licensing agreement with Japan Tobacco for a novel osteoanabolic drug candidate to treat osteoporosis.

Under the terms of the deal, MSD will acquire the international rights to develop and commercialise JTT-305 in all territories except for Japan.

The compound is an investigational oral calcium sensing receptor antagonist currently being assessed for its ability to increase bone density.

It is being evaluated in phase II studies in Japan and phase I trials outside of that country.

MSD will pay Japan Tobacco an initial payment, in addition to further sums upon the attainment of pre-specified development and regulatory milestones.

Furthermore, Japan Tobacco is eligible to receive royalties from the sales of any drug candidates that receive marketing approval from this deal.

Alan B Ezekowitz, senior vice-president and franchise head of the bone, respiratory, immunology and endocrine unit of Merck Research Laboratories, said: “Partnering with Japan Tobacco to develop this novel compound complements Merck’s portfolio of musculoskeletal drug candidates.”

He added the use of osteoanabolic and antirresorptive agents may provide an effective method for reducing the risk of fractures in osteoporosis patients.

Last week, MSD announced the results of a phase IIb study of odanacatib showing the compound increased bone mineral density at key fracture sites over a two-year period.

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