Merck & Co., Pfizer partner on development of SGLT2 inhibitor ertugliflozin

Merck & Co. and Pfizer entered a global agreement to develop and market Pfizer’s experimental SGLT2 inhibitor ertugliflozin, which is being evaluated for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, the companies reported Monday. John Young, president and general manager at Pfizer Primary Care, remarked "through this collaboration, we believe we can build on Merck’s leadership position in diabetes care with the introduction of ertugliflozin."

Under the deal, which excludes Japan, the companies will develop and market ertugliflozin as well as fixed-dose combinations of the compound with metformin and Merck's Januvia (sitagliptin). Pfizer has received an upfront payment and milestones of $60 million and will be eligible for further payments linked to clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones. Merck and Pfizer noted that the companies will share revenues and certain costs on a 60/40 percent basis.

Ertugliflozin is expected to enter Phase III studies later in 2013.

For related analysis, see ViewPoints: Old rivals Pfizer, Merck & Co. collaborate in diabetes development to shake up SGLT2 class.

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