Merck is widening the company’s reach into the treatment of autoimmune diseases by investing in Synthekine, a bioresearch company that develops engineered cytokine therapeutics. 

Merck & Co. signed a licensing agreement with the United Nations-backed Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) that will allow more companies to manufacture generic versions of the company’s experimental oral antiviral Covid-19 treatment, the U.S. drugmaker and the organization announced on Oct. 27.

Fresh off a presentation of positive data showing that the KRASG12C inhibitor adagrasib benefited colorectal and lung cancer patients, Mirati Therapeutics forged an agreement to combine the drug with Sanofi’s company’s SHP2 inhibitor SAR442720 in lung cancer.

Seagen (formerly known as Seattle Genetics) forged an exclusive licensing agreement with China’s RemeGen to develop and commercialize disitamab vedotin, a novel HER2-targeted antibody drug conjugate (ADC).

Across the pharmaceutical industry, forging collaborations are a key tool to bringing new medications through the clinic and to market. This week, multiple companies have partnered in attempts to bring forth new therapies. BioSpace took a look at some of these announcements.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a Complete Response Letter (CRL) to Merck for the company’s supplemental Biologics License Application for Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in high-risk early-stage triple-negative breast cancer.

Swiss drugmaker Novartis signed an initial agreement to provide manufacturing capacity for Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine, a move aimed at helping boost production as supplies fall shy of demand.

Findings from a Phase III long-term extension study show a once-daily therapy consisting of relugolix with estradiol and norethindrone acetate leads to clinically meaningful reductions in menstrual pain and non-menstrual pelvic pain over one year in women with endometriosis.

Merck KGaA’s drug development program suffered a setback with the company’s most important experimental medicine as the cancer treatment bintrafusp alfa, being jointly developed by GlaxoSmithKline, failed early in a lead trial.

Eli Lilly and Company and Precision BioSciences Inc. announced a research collaboration and exclusive license agreement to use Precision’s ARCUS genome editing platform to research and develop potential in vivo therapies for a series of genetic disorders.