KalVista Pharmaceuticals has entered into a collaboration agreement with Merck via a subsidiary for KVD001 – the Company’s investigational intravitreal injection candidate.
The candidate is currently in development for potential treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME), as well as future oral DME compounds based upon plasma kallikrein inhibition.
Andrew Crockett, KalVista CEO, said: “Plasma kallikrein inhibition is a novel approach to the treatment of DME that we believe may offer benefit to a significant number of patients, and an oral therapy particularly would represent a groundbreaking advance for treatment of this indication.”
He added: “Importantly for KalVista, this collaboration also meets our strategic objectives of maintaining control of our oral HAE portfolio that we plan to develop independently.”
As per the agreement, KalVista has granted Merck certain rights including an option to acquire KVD001 through a period following completion of the Phase 2 proof-of-concept trial that KalVista intends to commence later this year.
Merck also gains a similar option to acquire investigational orally delivered molecules for DME that KalVista will continue to develop as part of its ongoing research and development activities.
Merck will pay to KalVista a $37 million non-refundable upfront fee. KalVista is further eligible to receive payments associated with the exercise of the options by Merck and the achievement of milestones for each program that potentially total up to $715 million.