Ariad snags $25M milestone from Merck as ridaforolimus advances

Ariad is pocketing a $25 million milestone from Merck, qualifying for the payout as their partnered cancer drug, ridaforolimus, advances along the regulatory path. Merck is handing over the money after it cleared a key regulatory hurdle at the EMA. And now the developers can turn their attention to the U.S., where the FDA is considering whether or not it will accept the application on the cancer drug.

"This acceptance of the EMA filing for review is an important milestone as we seek to bring forward a potential treatment option for patients with metastatic bone and soft tissue sarcomas," said Marty Duvall, senior vice president and general manager, oncology franchise, Merck Global Human Health.

Ariad has a lot riding on these applications. Earlier this year the biotech exercised a co-promotion option in its pact with Merck, according to Mass High Tech, under which it will be responsible for up to 20% of the marketing work in the U.S. And the pharma giant will owe Ariad another $35 million in milestones if the drug is approved in both the U.S. and Europe.

- see the Merck release
- and here's the story from Mass High Tech