Collaboration

Collaborations play a critical role in executing Merus’ strategy to become a fully integrated oncology therapeutics company. We have collaborations with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies as well as academic institutions. Merus continuously explores partnerships that extend the reach and capabilities of our technology platform and product candidates in oncology and other disease areas.

Collaborators

Simcere

In January 2018, Merus granted Simcere an exclusive license to develop and commercialize in China three bispecific antibodies utilizing Merus’ proprietary Biclonics® technology platform in the area of immuno-oncology. Merus retained all rights outside of China. As part of the agreement, Merus is leading early research and discovery activities, while Simcere is responsible for IND enabling studies, clinical development, regulatory filings and commercialization of these product candidates in China. As a key strategic component of the collaboration, Simcere will be responsible for IND enabling studies and manufacturing of clinical trial materials in China, which Merus intends to use to assist regulatory filings and early stage clinical development in the rest of the world. In addition to receiving an upfront payment, Merus will be eligible to receive development and commercial milestones, and tiered royalty payments on sales in China. Simcere will be eligible to receive tiered royalty payments on sales outside of China.

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Incyte

In December 2016, Merus and Incyte entered into a global, strategic collaboration focused on the research, discovery and development of bispecific antibodies utilizing Merus’ proprietary Biclonics® technology platform. As part of the agreement, Incyte received exclusive rights for up to eleven bispecific antibody research programs, including two of Merus’ preclinical immuno-oncology discovery programs. For one of the two preclinical programs, which has since been designated as MCLA-145, Merus retains all rights to develop and commercialize approved products in the United States, and Incyte will develop and commercialize approved products arising from the program outside the United States. Merus also has the option to co-fund development of product candidates arising from two other programs. In addition to receiving an upfront payment and equity investment, Merus is eligible to receive potential development, regulatory and commercial milestones and sales royalties.

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Ono Pharmaceutical

In April 2014, Merus and Ono entered into a research and license agreement to jointly develop bispecific antibody therapies for undisclosed targets. Ono received worldwide exclusive rights to develop, manufacture, and commercialize the resulting products developed through the collaboration. Merus received an upfront payment, and is eligible to receive milestones and sales royalties. In March 2018, Ono exercised its option under the April 2014 agreement to enter into a new research and license agreement utilizing Merus’ proprietary Biclonics® technology platform to generate a bispecific antibody that binds to a combination of targets designed for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.

Press Release

Betta Pharmaceuticals

 

In January 2019, Merus entered into a strategic collaboration with Betta Pharmaceuticals to develop and commercialize Merus Biclonics® MCLA-129 in China. Under the terms of the agreement, Betta Pharmaceuticals is responsible for clinical development and commercialization of MCLA-129 in China. Betta has agreed to retain a contract manufacturing organization with experience in filing IND applications with U.S. and European regulatory authorities in order to produce clinical trial materials for the Chinese market and rest of world. Betta will facilitate regulatory filings and early stage clinical trial materials supply for potential use by Merus for development of MCLA-129 outside of China.

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Academic Collaborators

Vall D’Hebron Institute of Oncology

In March 2018, Merus and Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) entered into a research collaboration to develop novel agents for therapeutic applications. The collaboration combines Merus’ proprietary Biclonics® technology platform and VHIO’s expertise in clinical, translational and preclinical research.

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Institut Gustave Roussy

In January 2016, Merus and Institut Gustave Roussy entered into a strategic collaboration to jointly develop bispecific antibodies for therapeutic immuno-oncology applications. Merus and Gustave Roussy will collaborate on the design and conduct of basic, preclinical and translational research studies and early clinical studies leveraging Merus’ portfolio of therapeutic human bispecific antibody candidates, including bispecific antibodies in preclinical development targeting combinations of immunomodulatory molecules.

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IRB Barcelona

In January of 2017, Merus and Eduard Batlle’s laboratory at IRB entered into a research collaboration to jointly develop novel agents that target the tumor microenvironment. The research collaboration combines Merus’ proprietary Biclonics® technology platform for the discovery and development of therapeutic bispecific antibodies and unique cell and animal models at the Colorectal Cancer Laboratory to evaluate therapeutic targeting of stromal cells that support tumor growth and metastasis. This new research collaboration builds on the working relationship established in the suppresSTEM project (2013-2016), a European consortium to validate new treatments against colorectal cancer.

Press Release