Merck, GTx ink $477M deal

GTx has scored a rich deal for partnering with Merck on developing a new class of selective androgen receptor modulators for muscle loss and other musculoskeletal conditions. GTx's lead therapy, Ostarine, is in mid-stage trials as a treatment for cancer patients experiencing muscle loss. Merck has agreed to take on the development costs of Ostarine and other SARM therapies developed in the collaboration. GTx gets a cash infusion of $40 million up front and another $15 million payment as a reimbursement for research costs. Another $422 million in scheduled milestones is on the line if the therapies can be successfully advanced. GTx shares surged about 20 percent this morning on the news.

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