Merck KGaA seeks immuno-oncology research partner

jueves 18 de septiembre de 2014 04:57 GYT

FRANKFURT, Sept 18 (Reuters) - German drugs and chemicals maker Merck KGaA is in advanced talks with potential partners for its cancer immunotherapy drug candidate anti-PD-L1, it said on Thursday.

"We are currently in advanced discussions with major oncology players and aim to reach an agreement by year-end," it said in a statement.

Merck added that it planned to invest an additional 130 to 150 million euros ($168 to $192 million) in its biosimilars unit next year, on top of 100 million euros this year, depending on the outcome of ongoing Phase I studies.

It said it would expand existing partnerships with India's Dr Reddy's and Brazil's Bionovis with another, as yet undisclosed in-licensing agreement for a late-stage biosimilar, initially for smaller emerging markets.

(1 US dollar = 0.7759 euro) (Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Ludwig Burger)