Financial terms were not disclosed.
However, Merck, headquartered in Whitehouse Station, N.J., will pay Marcadia an upfront fee as well as payments for exclusivity and ongoing collaborative research. Marcadia will be eligible for future milestone and royalty payments related to research, development and commercialization of its drug candidates.
In exchange, Merck has obtained an exclusive worldwide license to some of Marcadia's drug candidates and other intellectual property.
"Marcadia has generated a unique collection of peptide drug candidates with potentially novel therapeutic attributes," said Luciano Rossetti M.D., the senior vice president and franchise head of diabetes/obesity and cardiovascular at Merck Research Laboratories. "This latest collaboration underscores our strategy to establish a robust early-stage pipeline that delivers superior diabetes and obesity therapies."
Marcadia was formed in 2006 by four former top Eli Lilly and Co. scientists and quickly raised $3 million from investors. Its chairman is Gus Watanabe, the retired Lilly executive who also chairs the BioCrossroads life sciences initiative.
Marcadia is trying to build upon diabetes research of Dr. Richard DiMarchi, a former Lilly executive who is now a professor in Indiana University's chemistry department.