Merck and Biogen both tap Skyhawk’s RNA technology platform

By Maggie Lynch contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Selvanegra)
(Image: Getty/Selvanegra)

Related tags: Rna, Rna interference, Technology, Biogen, Merck, Merck & co., Small molecule

Skyhawk enters an agreement with Merck to discover and develop small molecules to modulate RNA splicing, and expands its existing development agreement with Biogen.

Per the agreement with Merck, known as MSD outside of the US and Canada, Skyhawk will use its SkySTAR, or ‘Skyhawk small molecule therapeutics for alternative splicing of RNA’, platform to develop drug candidates directed at targets for neurodegenerative diseases and cancer.

The technology platform will be employed to discover and develop RNA-binding small molecules that are designed to selectively modify RNA splicing. The molecules are a potential new modality for the treatment of neurological diseases and cancer.

According to Dean Li, SVP of discovery and translational medicine at Merck, “RNA splicing modification offers a new approach to modulating targets previously considered undruggable.”

Skyhawk is eligible to receive approximately $600m (€535.2m) per program from Merck.

Skyhawk will grant Merck the option to exclusively license worldwide intellectual property rights to candidates discovered and developed under the collaboration that are directed to program targets.

Should Merck exercise its option, it will be responsible for further development and commercialization and will pay Skyhawk potential opt-in fees, milestone payments, and royalties on sales of commercialized products.

Expansion of Biogen agreement

Skyhawk will also expand its strategic partnership with Biogen, established in January 2019​, to use the SkySTAR platform. The agreement expansion sees the extension of Biogen’s exclusive license to the intellectual property rights beyond the original collaboration’s research-stage therapeutic candidates.

The therapeutic candidates in this agreement include potential treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS), spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), and additional neurological disorders.

Related topics: Processing, Delivery technologies

Related news

Show more

Related products

From Candidate to Clinic- European Capabilities

From Candidate to Clinic- European Capabilities

Catalent Pharma Solutions | 22-Oct-2018 | Technical / White Paper

Catalent’s Nottingham, UK facility focuses on early stage development of small molecule drug candidates from the bench to clinic. This facility offers...

Fill Release at the Right Time in the Right Place

Fill Release at the Right Time in the Right Place

Gelita AG | 19-Sep-2018 | Technical / White Paper

From rapid release in the stomach for e.g. analgesics to enteric release for fills with unpleasant aftertaste – GELITA delivers the respective gelatine...

Strategies to Select and Deliver the Right Candidate

Strategies to Select and Deliver the Right Candidate

Catalent Pharma Solutions | 05-Mar-2018 | Technical / White Paper

Does your candidate have what it takes to succeed? Do you have the information needed to make the right decisions about your candidate’s path to the clinic?...

Related suppliers

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars