Merck Purchases Rights to Debiopharm’s Xevinapant for More Than $1 Billion

March 3, 2021

Merck KGaA will pay Switzerland-based Debiopharm up to $1.08 billion (€900 million) for the global rights to Xevinapant, an investigational head and neck cancer treatment.

Per the deal, Debiopharm will receive $226.39 million (€188 million) upfront and up to $854.98 million (€710 million) in future development and commercialization milestone-based payments, in addition to royalties.

Xevinapant plus chemotherapy reduced mortality risk by 51 percent vs. standard of care in a mid-stage study, says Debiopharm. The company launched a phase 3 study evaluating the drug in September.

Xevinapant secured FDA Breakthrough Therapy designation in February 2020 for previously untreated locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, when administered with standard of care. 

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