Merck commits up to $289M for new Alzheimer's collaboration

Undaunted by its mixed results trying to come up with a new therapy for Alzheimer's, Merck has struck a $289 million deal with Canada's Alectos Therapeutics to collaborate on new molecules for the memory-wasting ailment and other disorders. The pact includes an upfront payment and milestones, but there was no breakout on the payments.

The collaboration will target that modulate O-linked N-acetylglucosaminidase, an enzyme that is believed to be involved in the development of Alzheimer's disease. "We are delighted to establish a collaboration with the exceptional team at Merck to advance this potentially new, disease-modifying therapeutic approach for patients affected by Alzheimer's disease," said Ernest McEachern, the CEO of Alectos. "This is an important validation of our scientific leadership in this area and we look forward to working with Merck to realize the full value of this novel mechanism for a range of neuroscience disorders."

Like other developers, Merck has experienced plenty of frustration trying to develop new therapies for the disease, an incredibly elusive target that afflicts a steadily growing number of seniors.

- check out the Merck release