Merck enlists Theravance in $153M cardiovascular drug deal

South San Francisco-based Theravance ($THRX) will put its discovery unit to work on a $153 million deal to find new drugs for cardiovascular disease for Merck ($MRK). In the pact Theravance gets $5 million upfront and the rest in potential milestones.

"Despite years of medical advances, there remain significant unmet medical needs in the management of cardiovascular disease," said Mathai Mammen, the SVP of research and early clinical development at Theravance. "Over the last several years, Theravance has gained significant insights into the design of novel molecules directed towards certain cardiovascular targets. We are pleased to be working with Merck, an industry leader in the development of innovative cardiovascular medicines, to bring new therapies to patients."

This is Theravance's second drug deal this month. The biotech snagged a mid-stage pact with Italian drugmaker Alfa Wassermann on their gastroparesis drug TD-5108. But it's best known for its longtime partnership with GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) on the next-gen COPD drug Relvar and other respiratory programs.

- here's the press release

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