BeiGene Co.,Ltd, Merck Serono Add $232 Million+ R&D Deal To Growing Cancer Partnership

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Merck Enters into Further Global Co-Development and Commercialization Agreement for PARP Inhibitor with Chinese R&D Company BeiGene

DARMSTADT, Germany, Nov. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

-- New agreement marks the second collaboration between Merck and BeiGene

Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical division of Merck, today announced that a global licensing, co-development, and commercialization agreement for BeiGene-290 has been signed with BeiGene Co., Ltd., a biotech research and development company in Beijing, China. The compound, which is a potent poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor for the treatment of cancer, is currently in preclinical development and is expected to enter clinical development next year. This is the second collaboration agreement between the two companies this year.

PARP inhibitors are thought to target an enzyme family, poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase, which is involved in a number of cellular processes, including DNA repair and programmed cell death.

Under the terms of the collaboration, BeiGene will be responsible for the development and commercialization of BeiGene-290 in China, and Merck will be responsible for the development and commercialization of BeiGene-290 for the rest of the world. BeiGene will receive an undisclosed upfront payment and is eligible to receive further payments of up to EUR 170 million (US$ 232 million) for the achievement of clinical development and potential commercial milestones in both the People's Republic of China and rest of the world, as well as royalties on net sales.

"We are delighted to announce an expansion of our strategic partnership with BeiGene. Today's announcement highlights our commitment both to establishing strong R&D partnerships in China but also to our partner BeiGene, a preeminent Chinese life sciences company focused on discovering and developing innovative oncology drugs," said Dr. Susan Jane Herbert, Head of Global Business Development and Strategy for Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical division of Merck.

John Oyler, CEO of BeiGene said: "We are very much looking forward to expanding further our collaboration with Merck to include BeiGene-290. This collaboration helps to accelerate the global development and commercialization of this China-discovered oncology innovation, something BeiGene could not have achieved alone. Furthermore this deal and Merck's previous deal with BeiGene to develop the second generation, China-discovered BRAF inhibitor, BGB-283, demonstrate Merck's deep commitment to China and external innovation."

Both companies were recently awarded the 2013 BayHelix-Elsevier Award for Alliance of the Year. This award recognizes a ground-breaking pharmaceutical collaboration agreement involving a Chinese entity-one that is centered on advancing the future of science and pharmaceutical innovation. It is a significant recognition for both organizations, underscoring a shared commitment to establishing strategic partnerships that accelerate the delivery of differentiated new therapies to people living with serious unmet medical needs.

About BeiGene (Beijing), Co., Ltd.

BeiGene is a Chinese novel R&D oncology company focusing on discovering, developing and commercializing innovative oncology therapeutics. With a team of around 150 scientists and staff, its pipeline is comprised of novel oral small molecules and monoclonal antibodies for cancer. BeiGene Ltd. is a Cayman Islands exempted company that is an investor in and collaborator with BeiGene (Beijing), Co. Ltd.

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About Merck Serono

Merck Serono is the biopharmaceutical division of Merck. With headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany, Merck Serono offers leading brands in 150 countries to help patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, infertility, endocrine and metabolic disorders as well as cardiovascular diseases. In the United States and Canada, EMD Serono operates as a separately incorporated subsidiary of Merck Serono.

Merck Serono discovers, develops, manufactures and markets prescription medicines of both chemical and biological origin in specialist indications. We have an enduring commitment to deliver novel therapies in our core focus areas of neurology, oncology, immuno-oncology and immunology. For more information, please visit

All Merck Press Releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Website. Please go to to register online, change your selection or discontinue this service.

Merck is a leading pharmaceutical, chemical and life science company with total revenues of EUR 11.2 billion in 2012, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by approx. 38,000 employees in 66 countries. Its success is characterized by innovations from entrepreneurial employees. Merck's operating activities come under the umbrella of Merck KGaA, in which the Merck family holds an approximately 70% interest and free shareholders own the remaining approximately 30%. In 1917 the U.S. subsidiary Merck & Co. was expropriated and has been an independent company ever since.

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