Domain gets $178M deal to develop Parkinson's drugs

Merck Serono is teaming up with France's Domain Therapeutics to take aim at a new target for Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases. Domain will contribute compounds developed from their chemical series in exchange for a €2 million upfront, research funding and up to €132 million ($175 million) in milestones for the first two products.

"This agreement is a validation of Domain Therapeutics' business model of addressing difficult GPCRs and partnering compounds, with a significant deal, at an early stage of development," said Pascal Neuville, the CEO of Domain. "Merck Serono is known to set very high standards for the compounds they are licensing and this deal is a demonstration of the quality of our work. We anticipate that this agreement will enable us to sign further deals of this kind."

Domain will use its platform technology to develop metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 (mGluR4) Positive Allosteric Modulator (PAM) drugs. The company explains that mGluR4 is a glutamate receptor, a member of the G-Protein Coupled Receptor, or GPCR, family.

- check out the Merck Serono release