WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. (AP) -- Merck & Co. said Thursday it will buy a slate of biotech drug candidates and a manufacturing facility from Insmed Inc. for $130 million.
Insmed agreed to sell its pipeline of "biosimilars," or "follow-on biologic drugs" -- drugs that are attempted copies of biotech drugs, which are made using living cells. In the deal, Merck gains products including INS-19 and INS-20. The drugs are designed to prevent infections in cancer patients who are receiving chemotherapy.
Late-stage trials of INS-19 are being planned, and INS-20 is in early-stage testing. Merck will pay Insmed $10 million upfront for the drugs, and will make the rest of its payment when the deal closes. It will not owe any milestone or royalty payments.
The manufacturing plant is a 50,000 square-foot facility in Boulder, Colo., for the making and analysis of biologic drugs.
The drugs will be managed by Merck's new BioVentures business.
Richmond, Va.-based Insmed maintains ownership of its protein-based drug candidates, including two cancer treatments in early development, and a group of candidates based on its drug Iplex. Iplex received Food and Drug Administration approval in 2005 for use in children with growth failure due to primary IGF-I deficiency, or insulin-like growth factor deficiency.