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Idera Pharmaceuticals Announces Selection Of Toll-like Receptor Agonist Candidates For Evaluation As Vaccine Adjuvants By Merck

Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: IDRA) today announced that Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, has selected several novel Toll-like Receptor (TLR) agonists targeted to TLR7, TLR8 or TLR9 for evaluation and use as vaccine adjuvant candidates under the companies' collaboration and license agreement.

“We are very pleased to have created multiple novel TLR agonists for Merck’s exclusive evaluation and use as vaccine adjuvants,” commented Sudhir Agrawal, D Phil, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Idera. “Our chemistry-based approach for creating TLR-targeted compounds has allowed us to achieve the objective of generating a broad range of TLR-targeted agonists, each with a unique immune response profile. We look forward to Merck’s continued development of these compounds.”

"We continue to make progress in our license and research agreement with Idera," said John Shiver, vice president of vaccines discovery at Merck. "Collaborations such as this are essential as we seek to evaluate new innovative approaches to vaccine discovery and development."

About the Collaboration

In December 2006, Idera entered into an exclusive license and research collaboration agreement with Merck to research, develop, and commercialize the use of Idera’s TLR7, 8, and 9 agonists as vaccine adjuvants in the fields of cancer, infectious diseases, and Alzheimer’s disease. Under the terms of the agreement, Idera granted Merck worldwide exclusive rights to a number of Idera’s TLR7, 8, and 9 agonists for use in combination with Merck’s therapeutic and prophylactic vaccines in the defined fields. During the four-year research collaboration period, multiple TLR agonists were created by Idera and evaluated by Merck against the criteria established in the agreement. There is no limit to the number of vaccines to which Merck can apply selected agonists. Under the agreement, Merck is obligated to pay milestone payments and royalties on the product sales of vaccines using Idera’s TLR agonist technology.

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