ImageFlamel Technologies has entered into a full license agreement with Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, to apply Flamel's Medusa technology for the extended release of an already-marketed therapeutic protein from Merck Serono's portfolio. Following the promising results generated in the frame of the initial collaboration established between Flamel and Merck Serono in 2007, Merck Serono has made the decision to exercise its option to pursue its partnership with Flamel.

Under the terms of the agreement, Merck Serono will make a payment of EUR 5 million to Flamel for the exercise of this option. Flamel will be eligible to receive further payments based on the achievement of certain research and development milestones. Merck Serono will fund all research and development efforts to be performed at Flamel. Other terms of the license agreement were not disclosed.

Stephen H Willard, Flamel's chief executive officer, stated, "The progress we have achieved with Merck Serono thus far has met and exceeded our expectations. Merck Serono has been an excellent partner and we look forward to expanding our work on this program. We believe that our formulations can offer important advantages to patients' quality of life and demonstrate one of the key strengths of the Medusa platform, its applicability to a wide range of molecules."

"We have been extremely pleased with the data we have seen thus far for this programme," said Bernhard Kirschbaum, executive vice president Research and Development at Merck Serono. "As Flamel's Medusa technology allows, among other significant advantages, for long sustained release of injectable proteins compared to standard formulations, we hope to offer an improved convenience for patients requiring treatment by injection. As a consequence, we anticipate that exploiting this technology will lead to better treatment outcomes for patients."

Medusa, a self-assembled poly-aminoacid nanoparticle system, is a versatile carrier for the development of novel long-acting formulations of proteins, peptides, and other large molecules.

Flamel Technologies, S.A. is a biopharmaceutical company principally engaged in the development of two unique polymer-based delivery technologies for medical applications.