Agenus Inc. has entered into a collaboration and license agreement with Merck for the discovery and development of therapeutic antibodies to immune checkpoints for cancer treatments. Agenus will be responsible for discovery and optimization of fully human antibodies against two undisclosed Merck targets using the 4-Antibody Retrocyte Display platform. Merck will be responsible for clinical development and commercialization.
Agenus is eligible to receive approximately $100 million in payments associated with the clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones for two candidates, as well as royalties 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, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of Agenus. "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 programs,” said Dr. Eric Rubin, vice president clinical oncology, Merck Research Laboratories. “We look forward to working to advance these programs with the potential to address the unmet medical needs of people with cancer.”