Xencor, Inc. and Merck have entered into a licensing agreement granting Merck an exclusive license to Xencor's Xtend technology for the development of antibodies towards an undisclosed Merck drug target.
Xencor will receive an upfront $3 million license fee and an additional payment upon selection of an Xtend variant. Xencor is also eligible to receive clinical development milestones and royalties on product sales.
“We are delighted to establish with Merck one of the first collaborations for our new Xtend platform and are excited at the potential of this program,” commented Bassil Dahiyat, Ph.D., Xencor’s chief executive officer. “Merck is an outstanding partner, and we enjoy the high quality of the scientific interactions with our Merck colleagues.”
“The ability to enhance the pharmaceutical properties of antibody drug molecules and customize this class of drugs for specific therapeutic settings is a central differentiating factor which Xencor will continue to pioneer,” commented James Posada, Ph.D., MBA, Xencor’s acting chief business officer.