Xencor, Inc. has received a milestone payment from Merck for the initiation of a Phase I trial for an undisclosed biologic candidate that uses Xencor's XmAb antibody engineering platform.
Under the June 2013 agreement, Xencor granted Merck a non-exclusive license to certain patents for an undiclosed biologic along with an option to license the intellectual property for future products. Xencor receives annual maintenance fees and is eligible to receive success-based milestone payments, as well as royalties on sales of any potential products resulting from this agreement.
"Merck's program is the sixth drug candidate using our XmAb intellectual property currently in clinical trials and is the latest example of our technology offering partners an opportunity to create best-in-class therapeutics," said Bassil Dahiyat, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Xencor. "By selectively licensing our XmAb technology, we believe we create value in non-core areas, thus allowing us to focus on advancing our key internal development programs."