Ariad Gets $69M in Revised Merck Deal

Xconomy Boston — 

Cambridge, MA-based Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARIA) reports this morning that it has amended its July 2007 agreement with a unit of the drug giant Merck & Co. for the development of Ariad’s experimental cancer drug, ridaforolimus, which is in late-stage clinical development for treating certain soft tissue and bone sarcomas. The revised pact gives Merck (NYSE:MRK) an exclusive license to develop, produce, and sell the drug for treating cancer, and the company will cover all future costs related to these activities. In the initial deal, Ariad and Merck were sharing both responsibility of funding development of the drug as well as marketing rights. Merck is paying Ariad $69 million in cash for revising the deal, in addition to the $128.5 million that Ariad has already collected from Merck in the form of fees and milestone payments since the start of the collaboration, according to Ariad.