Nycomed, a global pharmaceutical company, and Merck & Co have entered into a co-promotion agreement for Canada and certain European countries for the commercialisation of Daxas (roflumilast), an investigational once-daily tablet for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
In addition, the two entities have also signed an exclusive distribution agreement for the commercialisation of Daxas in the UK. As per the terms of the agreement, Nycomed is expected to receive an undisclosed upfront fee from Merck and is eligible for certain payments based on defined regulatory and commercialisation milestones for Daxas.
Reportedly, if approved by the relevant regulatory authorities, both the parties will co-promote Daxas in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Canada. Nycomed is expected to manufacture and distribute the finished product in all countries covered by the co-promotion agreement.
However, in the UK Merck will have exclusive commercialisation rights and Nycomed will supply finished product and has retained a co-promotion option.
Kevin Ali, senior vice president and general manager of bone, respiratory, immunology and dermatology franchise at Merck & Co, said: "This agreement with Nycomed for a late-stage PDE4 inhibitor candidate represents a strong strategic fit for Merck." Hakan Bjorklund, CEO of Nycomed, said: "Nycomed's expertise in development of roflumilast, an important new approach for the treatment of COPD, Merck's customer oriented interactive commercial model and the regional synergies between the two companies will contribute to successfully bring Daxas to patients and doctors."