Press Release March 17, 2021

Amathus Therapeutics Collaborates With Merck To Develop Neurodegenerative Disease Treatments

The Life Sciences team advised Amathus Therapeutics on its strategic collaboration with Merck to develop novel small molecule therapeutic candidates for neurodegenerative diseases. Amathus will receive an upfront payment from Merck and, upon Merck’s exercise of its option to acquire Amathus, will be eligible for milestone payments associated with the successful development of candidates in excess of $500 million per program.

Under the terms of the agreement, Amathus will be responsible for identifying and progressing novel chaperone activators through preclinical discovery. Merck has the option to acquire Amathus and its pipeline of mitochondrial targeted candidates for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders and renal diseases. Upon exercise of its option, Merck will be solely responsible for clinical development and commercialization.

Amathus Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company and leader in the field of small molecule modulators of organelle specific chaperones across a variety of genetically defined diseases including Parkinson’s Disease and Polycystic Kidney Disease. The company’s proprietary platform enables highly specific modulation of mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum chaperones to exploit cellular stress response pathways and rescue key cellular functions associated with disease.

The Goodwin team was led by Laurie Burlingame, Jake Hays and Kingsley Taft, and included Patricia Mann, Daniel Karelitz, Sarah Bock, Grace Wirth, Jennifer Fay and Caroline Galiatsos.

For additional background on the collaboration, please read the press release.