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Merck KGaA, Ono sign agreement for oral MS, cancer drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

DARMSTADT, Germany — German drug maker Merck KGaA will collaborate with Japanese drug maker Ono Pharmaceutical to develop oral therapies for cancer and multiple sclerosis, Merck KGaA said.

The Merck Serono division of Merck KGaA, a separate company from U.S.-based Merck that operates as EMD in the United States and Canada, signed an agreement with Ono that gives it worldwide exclusive rights for development and commercialization of the MS drug ONO-4641 outside of Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Another license agreement gives Ono  Japanese co-development and marketing rights to Stimuvax, an investigative cancer immunotherapy that stimulates the body’s immune system to target cancer cells.

"Merck Serono is committed to building on our leadership franchise in multiple sclerosis, and we are excited about adding a potential oral treatment, ONO-4641, to our pipeline," Merck KGaA executive board member and Merck Serono division head Stefan Oschmann said. "We also believe that Ono will bring a wealth of experience in developing innovative therapies and understanding regulatory requirements in Japan."


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Gilead, Boehringer Ingelheim ink license agreement

BY Allison Cerra

FOSTER CITY, Calif., and INGELHEIM, Germany — Gilead Sciences has signed an agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim to gain exclusive worldwide rights to research, develop and commercialize BI’s novel anti-retroviral compounds.

Under the terms of the agreement, Gilead will pay the German drug maker an upfront payment and possibly will receive additional payments based upon the achievement of certain development, regulatory and commercial milestones, as well as royalties on future net sales, the companies said.

The class of compounds, known as noncatalytic site integrase inhibitors (NCINIs), target the key component of the HIV virus responsible for incorporation of the viral DNA into the human genome, Gilead and BI said.

"We are very pleased to have established this licensing agreement. The Boehringer Ingelheim compounds complement our internal discovery programs and the efforts are aligned with our commitment to continue to innovate in the field of HIV," Gilead EVP research and development and chief scientific officer Norbert Bischofberger said. "We are looking forward to progressing BI 224436 or other compounds further into clinical development."


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Favorites emerging with latest toy list from Target

BY Gail Hoffer

MINNEAPOLIS — Target is the latest in a line of retailers to put out a list of what it thinks will be the top toys of the holiday season. Many of Target’s hottest toys, including FIJIT friends and the LeapFrog branded LeapPad, are also on toy lists for Toys"R"Us, Kmart and Walmart.

“The holiday season is a busy time of year and our guests are looking for gifts that will make wishes come true,” Target VP toys Stephanie Lucy said. “Target has all of the toys that kids will love, and with our expanded Toy Catalog, it’s easier than ever for gift-givers to make their choices and save at the same time.”

Although it may be a toy list latecomer, Target is going after the competition with the launch of ane expanded toy catalog. Available on Nov. 1., the catalog features eight more pages than last year, as well as a coupon insert that contains more than $350 in savings. To help busy parents stay organized during the holiday season, the toy catalog focuses on list building — complete with checkboxes next to every item, and a special tear-out list for kids to complete, the company reported.

Target’s top toys include:

  • FIJIT Friends

  • Barbie Printable Hairtastic

  • Monster High Doll 5-pack (Target exclusive)

  • Flying Fairies Doll (Target exclusive)

  • Lite Sprites Wand and Sprite

  • Disney My First Princess Doll and Toddler Dress Gift Set (Target exclusive)

  • Lalaloopsy Crumb’s Bake off- Doll with Kitchen Set (Target exclusive)

  • Nerf Vortex Nitron Blaster

  • Star Wars Ultimate FX LightSaber

  • Air Hogs Hyperactives RC Vehicle

  • Paper Jamz Pro Series Mic

  • Disney Cars 2 Charge Ups Charge ‘N’ Race Speedway (Target exclusive)

  • Lego Millennium Falcon

  • Imaginext T-Rex

  • Thomas and Friends Trackmaster Cranky and Flynn Save the Day

  • Top Toys and Games for All:

  • Games: Scrabble, Simon and Yahtzee Flash

  • Disney Hedbanz (Target exclusive)

  • Bop It! XT

  • Rock On Elmo

  • LeapFrog LeapPad

  • Elf on the Shelf Book

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