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Threshold Pharmaceuticals boosted by new Merck terms

The Nasdaq quoted drug developer is now well placed to build a commercial arm to its business, says CEO Barry Selick.

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Threshold has so far banked US$110mln of US$550mln in possible milestone payments

Threshold Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:THLD) told investors it has finalized the definitive terms of its co-promotion deal with German drugs major Merck.

The deal is for evofosfamide, an investigational hypoxia-activated prodrug currently in two fully enrolled Phase 3 trials for advanced soft tissue sarcoma and advanced pancreatic cancer, which was initially developed by Threshold.

Today’s finalized arrangement gives Threshold to, at its own cost, field its own sales force in collaboration with Merck in the US division.  Merck, meanwhile, remains responsible for all other commercial and medical affairs associated with the drug’s launch and promotion.

Previously agreed milestone and royalty arrangements remain the same, said Threshold, which has so far received around US$110mln from Merck with a further US$440mln of potential milestones remaining.

Barry Selick, Threshold chief executive, in a statement highlighted that the company was now well positioned to integrate a commercial arm to its business.

"The ability to co-promote and field a sales force represents one of two key options allowing Threshold to participate in the commercial phase of evofosfamide's lifecycle should it receive FDA approval,” Selick said.

“Importantly, the license agreement also provides us with an option to co-commercialize evofosfamide in the U.S., depending upon achieving certain milestones, which would allow us to share in up to fifty percent of the profits from the sale of the drug.”

Quick facts: Threshold Pharmaceuticals

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NASDAQ:THLD
Market: NASDAQ
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