business-agreementMerus BV, a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company developing innovative bispecific antibody therapeutics, and Institut Gustave Roussy, a leading Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Europe, today announced entry into a strategic collaboration to jointly develop bispecific antibodies for therapeutic immuno-oncology applications.

Under the terms of the agreement, 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.

In addition, Gustave Roussy will participate in clinical studies of Merus’ MCLA-128, a HER2xHER3 bispecific antibody candidate that is designed for the treatment of patients with HER2-expressing solid tumours, and Merus’ MCLA-117, a CLEC12AxCD3 bispecific antibody candidate that is designed to recruit and activate T-cells for the treatment of patients with acute myeloid leukaemia.

“Gustave Roussy is an internationally renowned leader in cancer research, and we look forward to working with them to conduct early clinical trials and conduct preclinical research to further develop our understanding of how a patient’s immune system can be activated to eliminate cancer cells,” said Ton Logtenberg, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Merus. “Gustave Roussy’s outstanding preclinical and clinical oncology teams, coupled with Merus’ bispecific antibody pipeline, create a powerful research platform capable of identifying important advancements in the area of immuno-oncology.”

“We are excited to expand our opportunities for collaboration in the development of bispecific antibodies for immuno-oncology,” said Professor Jean-Charles Soria, head of the Drug Development Department (DITEP) at Gustave Roussy. “We believe alliances such as this one with Merus will allow us to accelerate the development of promising, innovative cancer therapies for the patients who need them.”

“Our alliance with Merus illustrates our strategic commitment, as one of the leading Comprehensive Cancer Centres in Europe, to actively collaborate with biotech companies developing innovative therapeutic antibodies and biotechnological platforms in the field of precision medicine and immunotherapy,” said Professor Alexander Eggermont, General Director of Gustave Roussy.