Merck, AstraZeneca Announce License Agreement for MK-1775
Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada,
and AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) today announced a worldwide licensing
agreement for Merck's oral small molecule inhibitor of WEE1 kinase
(MK-1775). MK-1775 is currently being evaluated in Phase IIa clinical
studies in combination with standard-of-care therapies for the treatment
of patients with certain types of ovarian cancer.
WEE1 helps to regulate the cell-division cycle. The WEE1 inhibitor
MK-1775 is designed to cause certain tumor cells to divide without
undergoing normal DNA repair processes, ultimately leading to cell
death. Preclinical evidence suggests that the combination of MK-1775 and
DNA damage-inducing chemotherapy agents can enhance anti-tumor
properties, in comparison to chemotherapy alone.