By Sarah Sloat 

4D Pharma plc (DDDD.LN) said Tuesday that it has entered a vaccine collaboration with Merck & Co. (MRK), in which it could receive more than $347.5 million in payments and may lead to Merck taking a stake in the U.K. company.

The research-collaboration and option-to-license agreement is specifically with MSD, a trade name of Merck, 4D said. As part of the deal, 4D aims to discover and develop live biotherapeutics, a class of medicines, as vaccines in up to three indications. The U.S. Federal Drug Administration defines live biotherapeutics as products containing a live organism--such as bacteria--used for the prevention, treatment or cure of a disease.

The deal gives 4D the right to have MSD purchase $5 million in ordinary 4D shares in the first year of collaboration, subject to certain conditions. On top of an upfront cash payment for each indication, 4D will be eligible to receive up to $347.5 million in option exercise and development and regulatory milestone payments, and tiered royalties on annual net sales of any licensed products resulting from the collaboration, it said.

MSD will be responsible for development, manufacturing and commercialization following the exercise of any of exclusive options, 4D said.


Write to Sarah Sloat at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 08, 2019 04:40 ET (08:40 GMT)

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