Merck Acquires Biotechnology Company, OncoEthix

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Merck announced that it acquired OncoEthix, a biotechnology company specializing in oncology drug development, for up to $375 million.


Merck announced on Dec. 18, 2014 that it acquired a Swiss-based, privately held biotechnology company, OncoEthix, specializing in oncology drug development. The acquisition gives Merck OTX015, an investigational BET bromodomain inhibitor designed to treat hematological malignancies and advanced solid tumors. The $110 million acquisition has the potential to add up to $265 million more upon meeting certain clinical and regulatory milestones.

“The acquisition underlines the promise that OTX015 has shown in the treatment of hematological malignancies, and the potential it has for the treatment of advanced solid tumors,” said Bertrand Damour, CEO, OncoEthix, in a press release.


According to the press release, BET proteins could be therapeutic targets in cancer because they regulate key regulators of cancer cell growth and survival. OTX015 showed meaningful clinical activity in Phase I clinical studies in patients with hematological malignancies.

“The potential first-in-class oral BET inhibitor, OTX015, has demonstrated early promising activity in hematological cancers and strategically complements our broad immuno-oncology development program,” said Dr. Roy Baynes, senior vice president, global clinical development, Merck Research Laboratories, in the release.

Source: Merck