Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals Signs Agreement with Merck & Co., Inc. Forming Global Partnership for SM13496 (lurasidone), an Atypical Antipsychotic Compound
On July 6, Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. (Osaka, Japan) announced that the company has signed an agreement with Merck & Co., Inc. (Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, USA) to collaborate on SM-13496 an atypical antipsychotic compound discovered by Sumitomo and currently in Phase II development for the treatment of Schizophrenia.
Under this agreement, Sumitomo granted Merck an exclusive license for development and marketing of SM-13496 in countries around the world (excluding Japan, China, South Korea and Taiwan). Under the terms of the agreement, Sumitomo will receive an initial payment, milestone payments in addition to royalties on net sales of SM-13496 and retain the option to co-promote SM-13496 in the United States.
SM-13496 has high affinities for both dopamine D2 and serotonin 5-HT2A receptors. This compound is expected to be effective in ameliorating both positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia with fewer extra pyramidal symptoms (EPS) than conventional therapeutic agents. With the progress of the clinical studies, the efficacy and safety of this compound have been confirmed. This compound is now under preparation for Phase III clinical study for the treatment of schizophrenia in North America and is under Phase IIb clinical study for the treatment of schizophrenia in Japan.
Sumitomo has been seeking the best partner to develop and launch SM-13496 as its international strategic product and decided to collaborate with Merck, a global leading company in clinical development and marketing of innovative drugs. Through this arrangement with Merck, Sumitomo expects that the development of SM-13496 can be accelerated for the early launch, and the market share of this compound in the global market can be maximized. This partnership will also provide Sumitomo with opportunities to reinforce its operations in the United States.