Allergan acquires oral CGRP receptor antagonists from Merck Inc. including MK 1602 and MK 8031
Allergan plc and Merck Inc. have announced that they have entered into an agreement under which Allergan will acquire the exclusive worldwide rights to Merck's investigational small molecule oral calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor antagonists, which are being developed for the treatment and prevention of migraine. Allergan will be fully responsible for development of the CGRP programs, as well as manufacturing and commercialization upon approval and launch of the products.
The agreement gives Allergan rights to two CGRP receptor antagonists:
- MK-1602, an oral small molecule antagonist for the acute treatment of migraines. A phase II study of MK-1602 has been completed and end of phase II discussions with FDA are planned prior to initiating phase III. A phase III study is expected to begin in 2016.
- MK-8031, an oral small molecule antagonist for the prevention of migraines. A phase II study of MK-8031 is expected to begin in 2016. In July 2011, Merck announced that it had discontinued clinical development of an earlier investigational oral CGRP antagonist, Telcagepant (MK-0974), after some patients showed evidence of liver toxicity.
The MK-1602 & MK-8031 molecules belong to a different chemical series than Telcagepant, and in clinical trials to date have not shown evidence of liver toxicity. The potential of the CGRP antagonist mechanism has received validation from episodic and chronic migraine studies of injectable candidates in development.
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