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.

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