Debiopharm enters EUR 900+ million contract with Merck

Debiopharm has granted a worldwide exclusive license to pharma giant Merck for the development and commercialization of its Xevinapant head and neck cancer treatment drug.

Debiopharm, a global biopharmaceutical company located in the heart of the Health Valley, has announced the signature of an exclusive license agreement with pharmaceutical giant Merck, for the development and commercialization of Xevinapant.

Xevinapant is a new drug under development for the treatment of head and neck cancer. According to Debiopharm, this new drug “has shown outstanding results in clinical tests, notably conducted at the CHUV”. During this phase, a 51% reduction in the risk of death was observed in patients monitored for three years, compared to those who did not receive this treatment.

This global license agreement is a significant achievement that rewards the clinical development efforts conducted by Debiopharm while demonstrating the agility and relevance of the company’s specific and unique business model.

According to the terms of the license agreement, Merck gains exclusive global development and commercialization rights of Xevinapant, and Debiopharm is to receive EUR 188 million upfront and up to EUR 710 million in milestone, as well as royalty payments.

Xevinapant, which is used in combination with chemoradiotherapy, will now move into a worldwide Phase III trial involving 700 patients, a phase to be co-funded by Merck and Debiopharm.

Located in Lausanne, in the canton of Vaud, and in Martigny, in the canton of Valais, Debiopharm develops innovative therapies that target unmet medical needs in oncology and infectious diseases. The company’s latest drug Xevinapant is well positioned to become the third transformative therapy arising from Debiopharm in the field of oncology.

More Stories about Greater Geneva Bern area

HubsGoGlobal is a platform under the PharmaBoardroom brand that focuses on the competitive advantages of the Hub and its value proposition in terms of strategic, operational, financial, talent and lifestyle aspects.

PharmaBoardroom provides industry trends, news and reports from all over the world. This site is for senior professionals who want to understand local and global markets.


Greater Geneva Bern area is an initiative of the cantons of
Bern, Fribourg, Vaud, Neuchâtel, Geneva and Valais.

World Trade Center – Av. de Gratta-Paille 2
PO Box 252
1000 Lausanne 22 – Switzerland


Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this site maybe reproduced in any form or by any means, whether electronic, mechanical or otherwise including photocopying, recording or any information storage or retrieval system without prior written consent of PharmaBoardroom. While every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this website, neither PharmaBoardroom nor the authors accept any liabilities for errors and omissions. Opinions expressed in this report are not necessarily those of the authors.

2021 © PharmaBoardroom