This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

30 Apr 2014

Agenus Announces Collaboration and License Agreement with Merck for Novel Checkpoint Antibody-Based Cancer Immunotherapies

Agenus Inc. has announced that the company has entered into a collaboration and licence agreement with Merck, (known as MSD outside the US and Canada), through a subsidiary, for the discovery and development of therapeutic antibodies to immune checkpoints for the treatment of cancer.


Under the terms of the agreement, Agenus will discover and optimise fully human antibodies against two undisclosed Merck checkpoint targets using the 4-Antibody Retrocyte Display platform. Merck will be responsible for clinical development and commercialisation of candidates generated under the collaboration.


Under the terms of the agreement, Agenus is eligible to receive approximately $100 million in potential payments associated with the completion of certain clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones for two candidates from Merck. In addition, Agenus is eligible to receive royalty payments on worldwide product sales.


"We are delighted to be working with Merck, who is a leader in the rapidly developing immuno-oncology space," said Bob Stein, MD, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Agenus Inc. "We believe our Retrocyte Display technology has significant advantages for creation of high quality antibody development candidates. This collaboration broadens our efforts in immuno-oncology beyond our previously disclosed checkpoint programs with a world-class research and development partner."


"This collaboration with Agenus complements our active immuno-oncology discovery programmes," said Dr Eric Rubin, vice president clinical oncology, Merck Research Laboratories. "We look forward to working to advance these programmes with the potential to address the unmet medical needs of people with cancer."


Agenus acquired 4-Antibody AG, a private European-based biopharmaceutical company in February 2014. The 4-Antibody assets include the Retrocyte Display technology platform for discovery and optimisation of fully human antibodies against a wide array of molecular targets. Agenus has multiple preclinical checkpoint modulator programmes in development including GITR and OX40 agonists and antagonists of TIM-3, LAG-3, PD-1 and CTLA-4. These programmes are being pursued through a strategic collaboration with Ludwig Cancer Research.

Related News