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BioXell enters license agreement with Merck & Co. for TREM-1 product candidate and TREM platform
Bioxell is a 2002 and 2004 Tornado100 Winner


Milan, Italy, 23rd May 2005 – BioXell SpA, the Italian biopharmaceutical company, today announced that it has signed an exclusive, worldwide license agreement with Merck & Co., Inc. for development of TREM related therapeutic and diagnostic products.

Under the agreement, Merck obtains exclusive rights to develop BioXell’s initial product candidate directed to TREM-1 currently in preclinical development, and other candidates directed to the TREM-1 target. Merck and BioXell will also collaborate on the further research of other TREM receptors.

In Under the terms of the agreement, BioXell will receive an up-front payment and, in addition, BioXell could receive as much as $150 million in milestone payments, including $55.5 million for the successful development of the first product for the first indication, and additional milestone payments for further development of the first candidate and follow-on product candidates in subsequent indications. BioXell also has rights to royalties on future product sales, upon completion of all required clinical trials and product approvals. Merck will be responsible for clinical development and commercialization of products worldwide.

TREM, an acronym for Triggering Receptors Expressed on Myeloid Cells, is a novel class of receptors that have been implicated in many diseases. TREM-1 is believed to play a key role in sepsis. Other aspects of the TREM platform show promise in several other indications.

“We are extremely pleased that Merck is as excited as we are about the potential of the TREM platform, and believe this collaboration may be beneficial for patients.” said Francesco Sinigaglia, MD, Chief Executive Officer of Bioxell. “Sepsis is a challenging field and we are pleased that Merck is entering this agreement with us to explore this promising approach to address sepsis.”

“Merck is delighted to enter into this relationship with BioXell” said Mervyn Turner, Ph.D, senior vice president, Worldwide Licensing and External Research, at Merck. “We believe that this agreement will help in Merck’s efforts to address a significant unmet need. It demonstrates our ongoing commitment to access the most promising research from the biotech community that complement Merck’s existing pipeline.'

About BioXell
Spun-Spun-out fromRoche in January of 2002, BioXell is a private biopharmaceutical company focusing on the discovery and development of new treatments for urological disorders that represent large, currently underserved markets. Through its proprietary technology platform based on Vitamin D3 analogues, BioXell has identified a number of promising lead development programmes. Its pipeline includes BXL 628 for benign prostatic hyperplasia and overactive bladder, currently in Phase II of clinical development, as well as compounds to treat other major urological indications such as interstitial cystitis and nonbacterial chronic prostatitis. In order to further exploit its Vitamin D3 platform, BioXell is collaborating with ProStrakan to develop drug candidates to treat osteoporosis and secondary hyperparathyroidism. Furthermore, based on its unique understanding of the inflammatory process and knowledge of GPCRs and TREM receptor biology, BioXell is also committed to a number of cutting-edge research projects to develop new drugs for chronic inflammatory diseases in collaboration with external partners. To date, BioXell has raised a total of over €70m through world-class specialised healthcare VC investors including MPM Capital, Index Ventures, BB BIOTECH, AlpInvest Partners and Life Sciences Partners as well as government funding. BioXell currently employs 60 people and has sites in Milan, Italy and Nutley, NJ, USA.
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Publisher Contact Information:

Bioxell S.p.A.
+39 (0)2 210 49 51
alvise.sagramoso@bioxell.com

Company profile of Bioxell S.p.A.
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