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Enigma Biomedical Group signs license agreement with Merck for novel MK-6884 imaging agent

Press releases may be edited for formatting or style
TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Enigma Biomedical Group (EBG) today announced an exclusive license agreement with Merck, known as MSD outside the US and Canada, for the global development and commercialization of MK-6884, an early stage investigational imaging agent developed by Merck for use in Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans to measure cholinergic tone change in vivo. MK-6884 has potential applications as an imaging agent across multiple neurodegenerative diseases.

As part of the agreement, EBG will be responsible for the clinical development and commercialization of MK-6884 in return for payment of license fees, milestone payments and royalties on worldwide sales of any future marketed products.

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Lee Ann Gibbs, President of Enigma Biomedical Group said, “This is an important step in accelerating critical biomarker research projects globally. Licensing this additional Merck technology allows Enigma, and its partner, Cerveau Technologies Inc., to continue to execute the collective strategy of providing biomarkers to industry and academia to accelerate research in the field of neurodegenerative diseases.”

“There is a critical need to develop imaging agents for the diagnosis and characterization of neurodegenerative diseases,” said Jeff Evelhoch, Vice President, Translational Biomarkers, Merck Research Laboratories. “We are pleased to work with Enigma and Cerveau.”

In an early study presented at the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (ASCPT) 2019 Annual Meeting, Merck scientists reported that cholinergic tone alters M4 Positive Allosteric Modulation (PAM) and PET imaging with [11C]MK-6884 was able to measure cholinergic tone change. MK-6884 has a high specificity with favorable physicochemical properties and in vivo pharmacokinetics that warrant further clinical investigation as a potential PET neuroimaging agent. Merck and Cerveau are planning an open-label Phase 1 study to investigate the safety and characterize the use of [11C]MK-6884.

“At Cerveau, we are focused on providing information and technologies to researchers and clinicians to enable the improvement of brain health,” said Rick Hiatt, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cerveau Technologies, Inc. “We are thrilled by the opportunity to once again work with Merck to foster development of this exciting technology. Consistent with our vision, we will make these novel imaging agents available to our pharmaceutical industry and academic partners, providing access to the broader scientific community.”

About Enigma Biomedical Group
Toronto-based Enigma Biomedical Group (EBG) enhances access to key technologies with a focus on molecular imaging and medicine. EBG offers a suite of services to the pharmaceutical industry and clinical research community to accelerate drug development and global access. EBG partners with academic institutions and universities to foster and broaden access to novel research.

About Cerveau Technologies, Inc.
Cerveau Technologies, Inc. is a partnership between Enigma Biomedical Group, Inc. and Sinotau Pharmaceutical Group. Cerveau's vision is to globally develop diagnostics and technology that positively impact patients with neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease.

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