Pharma duo develop diabetes drug

Merck Sharp and Dohme expand alliance with Samsung to develop diabetes drug.

Pharma giant Merck Sharp and Dohme will build upon its alliance with Samsung Bioepis to cover the development of a new treatment for diabetes.

The development of the new diabetes therapy builds on an existing association between the two firms to develop multiple biosimilar candidates, as announced in early 2013. The pair will now expand their alliance to include an agreement to develop, manufacture and commercialise MK-1293, an insulin glargine candidate for the treatment of patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

The companies have agreed to work together on clinical development, regulatory filings and manufacturing, while Merck will be solely responsible for commercialisation if the therapy is approved. Phase III trials of the drug are expected to commence soon.

Senior vice-president for diabetes at Merck Global Human Health, Matt Strasburger, commented: “Merck is strengthening its leadership in diabetes through our own work and in collaboration with others, and this agreement will help build our portfolio across the spectrum of the disease.”

Earlier this month Merck also announced new collaborations with Amgen, Incyte and Pfizer to assess novel cancer combination therapies.