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KRAS craze sees Merck put $2.5B biobucks down for Taiho, Astex licensing deal

January 06, 2020 / FierceBiotech
SHARESHARESHARE

KRAS and its hope against cancer was one of the biggest talking points in 2019, and it seems this hype is not dying down in 2020. This morning, Merck & Co. said it was willing to put as much as $2.5 billion on the table (though very heavily backloaded) to gain access to small-molecule inhibitors against several drug targets, including the KRAS oncogene, from Taiho and Astex. While a major biobucks number, the upfront is decidedly smaller: just $50 million between the two biotechs, but not surprising given that the deal focuses on currently preclinical assets.