March 7 (Reuters) - Merck & Co and Japan’s Eisai Co Ltd on Wednesday announced a potential multibillion-dollar collaboration to develop and sell Eisai’s cancer drug Lenvima, which is already approved in many countries for two uses.
The deal, under which Lenvima will be developed for several types of cancer alone and in combination with Merck’s immunotherapy Keytruda, could be worth up to $5.76 billion to Eisai, but most of that would be contingent on eventual sales.
Meanwhile, Merck will be entitled to half of all global Lenvima sales, even for its already-approved uses for thyroid cancer and in combination with another drug for kidney cancer.
The deal is similar to a multibillion-dollar oncology collaboration Merck struck with AstraZeneca Plc last July.
Reporting by Bill Berkrot in New York Editing by Matthew Lewis