Merus, a Dutch clinical-stage immuno-oncology company, and Simcere Pharmaceutical Group, a Chinese pharmaceutical company, announced that Merus has agreed to grant 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.
Under the terms of the agreement, Merus has agreed to lead research and discovery activities while Simcere has agreed to be responsible for the Investigational New Drug (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 filing and early stage clinical development in the rest of the world.
“We believe this collaboration leverages Merus’ unique platform and Biclonics® suite of technologies with Simcere’s drug development experience and strong commercial presence in China,” said Ton Logtenberg, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Merus. “For Merus, this represents an important step towards becoming a commercial-stage company with a strong pipeline of differentiated bispecific antibodies in immuno-oncology. There is a clear strategic fit between the two companies and we believe that by combining our collective expertise and resources, we will be able to develop innovative therapeutics in the China market and globally.”