Abide Therapeutics Announces Collaboration With Merck to Develop Novel Therapies for Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases

SAN DIEGO, May 02, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Abide Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company pioneering innovative approaches to selectively target a group of enzymes known as serine hydrolases, today announced that it has entered into a collaboration agreement with Merck, known as MSD outside the U.S. and Canada, to discover, develop and commercialize small-molecule therapies directed against three novel targets to treat metabolic diseases with a focus on type 2 diabetes.

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"This collaboration leverages Abide's unique and innovative therapeutic engine," said Alan Ezekowitz, MBChB, D.Phil., President and CEO of Abide Therapeutics.  "We are eager to validate unique targets that we hope will lead to the development of novel therapeutics that will benefit patients with diabetes and metabolic diseases." 

Under the terms of the agreement, Abide Therapeutics is eligible to receive an upfront payment, research funding, and potential milestone payments for up to $430 million for three products. Further details of the financial terms were not disclosed. Merck will have worldwide commercialization rights to any products that may be developed as a result of the collaboration. Abide Therapeutics is entitled to receive royalty payments on global sales from any such products.

"Diabetes and related disorders continue to represent a significant global, unmet medical need," said Nancy Thornberry, Senior Vice President and Franchise Head, Diabetes and Metabolism, Merck Research Laboratories. "We look forward to working with Abide on the discovery and development of important new medicines."

About Serine Hydrolases

The large family of serine hydrolases are validated but largely under explored as drug targets. These enzymes play a key regulatory role in human physiological processes, such as regulating CNS signaling, digestion, metabolism, inflammation, blood clotting, and life cycle of viruses and pathogens. Thus, the ability to target serine hydrolases has broad therapeutic applications. The proprietary Abide technology platform provides a unique highly selective small molecule collection that specifically targets the common catalytic site of serine hydrolases.  The technology provides a rapid and effective method for target identification and validation.  

About Abide Therapeutics

Abide Therapeutics is focused on developing innovative medicines that target serine hydrolases, one of the largest enzyme classes in nature with validated but mostly untapped therapeutic potential. Serine hydrolases play important regulatory roles in human physiology and disease. Abide has created a proprietary platform, based on technology developed at The Scripps Research Institute by Professors Ben Cravatt and Dale Boger, that specifically targets serine hydrolases with selective small molecules. The ability to target and modulate serine hydrolases has potential to develop new medicines in many therapeutic areas.  Abide is located in San Diego.  To learn more, visit www.abidetx.com

SOURCE Abide Therapeutics

CONTACT: Jessica Yingling, Ph.D., Little Dog Communications, Jessica@litldog.com, 858.344.8091

Web Site: http://www.abidetx.com

Posted: May 2013

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