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Abide Therapeutics and Merck Unveil Diabetes Drug Collaboration

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the group of serine hydrolases involved in regulating metabolic diseases. “Merck has rights to three targets” for treating type 2 diabetes, Ezekowitz said. “They will get to choose from a number of opportunities.”

Merck will have worldwide commercialization rights to any drug compounds developed from the collaboration, while Abide is entitled to royalty payments on global sales from such future products.

The process of screening compounds for Merck “also provides an opportunity to get a lot more information about this enzyme class,” Ezekowitz said. “We may get information about a lot of other therapeutic areas besides enzyme metabolism.”

Abide’s lead internal program is focused on chronic neuropathic pain, and targets monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), which regulates levels of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol in the brain, Ezekowitz said. The hope is that Abide could develop a compound with the pain-killing effects of cannabinoid compounds found in marijuana—without the psychotropic effects.

Ezekowitz said, “Our ultimate goal is to make transforming therapeutics that can really help people.”

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