UTRECHT, The Netherlands, Sept. 20, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Merus (NASDAQ:MRUS), a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company developing therapeutics with the goal of treating and curing serious illnesses, announced today that it has added to its deep intellectual property portfolio two new U.S. patents related to its proprietary Biclonics® technology for developing novel bispecific antibodies.
On September 19, 2017, the United States Patent Office (USPTO) granted U.S. Patent No. 9,765,133, entitled “Antibody Producing Non-Human Mammal”, which marks a first U.S. patent covering a transgenic mouse having a common light chain, related to Merus’ MeMo® mouse technology. Using MeMo®, a leading antibody-generating platform, Merus is able to produce large and diverse panels of high affinity common light chain antibodies against a broad variety of targets, which can then be used to make high quality bispecific antibodies referred to as Biclonics®.
On August 22, 2017, the USPTO also granted U.S. Patent No. 9,738,701 entitled, “Method for selecting a single cell expressing a heterogeneous combination of antibodies,” which relates to downstream host cells capable of effectively manufacturing Biclonics®.
“These issuances continue to complement Merus’ substantial and growing patent portfolio related to each stage of what we believe to be an industry-leading bispecific antibody platform based on our proprietary Biclonics® suite of technologies,” said Dr. Ton Logtenberg, Chief Executive Officer of Merus. “The issuance of these patents strengthens our intellectual property estate, which ranges from technology concerning the use of transgenic mice to develop large panels of common light chain antibodies, to the generation of host cells capable of manufacturing high quality bispecific antibodies with differentiated modes of action.”
Merus has obtained patents worldwide, including throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and now the US related to its MeMo® technology, with several additional applications still pending in the US. These two recent issuances by the USTPO bolster the Company’s substantial estate related to the panoply of Biclonics® technologies, including transgenic rodents, production of antibody libraries, screening methods, Fc engineering, antibody host cell expression and preclinical and clinical bispecific antibody candidates.
About Merus N.V.
Merus is a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company developing innovative full-length human bispecific antibody therapeutics, referred to as Biclonics®. Biclonics®, which are based on the full-length IgG format, are manufactured using industry standard processes and have been observed in preclinical studies to have similar features as conventional monoclonal antibodies, such as long half-life and low immunogenicity. Merus’ lead bispecific antibody candidate, MCLA-128, is expected to begin a Phase 2 clinical trial in the second half of 2017 in two metastatic breast cancer populations. MCLA-128 is also being evaluated in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial in Europe in gastric, ovarian, endometrial and non-small cell lung cancers. Merus’ second bispecific antibody candidate, MCLA-117, is being developed in a Phase 1 clinical trial in patients with acute myeloid leukemia. The Company also has a pipeline of proprietary bispecific antibody candidates in preclinical development, including MCLA-158, which is designed to bind to cancer stem cells and is being developed as a potential treatment for colorectal cancer and other solid tumors, as well as MCLA-145 designed to bind to PD-L1 and a non-disclosed second immunomodulatory target, which is being developed in collaboration with Incyte Corporation.
Forward Looking Statement-
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements contained in this press release that do not relate to matters of historical fact should be considered forward-looking statements, including without limitation statements regarding our Biclonics® platform as industry-leading, the timing of initiating the Phase 2 combination trial of MCLA-128 in MBC patients, and the treatment potential of our Biclonics® candidates.
These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the following: our need for additional funding, which may not be available and which may require us to restrict our operations or require us to relinquish rights to our technologies or Biclonics® and bispecific antibody candidates; potential delays in regulatory approval, which would impact our ability to commercialize our product candidates and affect our ability to generate revenue; the lengthy and expensive process of clinical drug development, which has an uncertain outcome; the unpredictable nature of our early stage development efforts for marketable drugs; potential delays in enrollment of patients, which could affect the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals; our reliance on third parties to conduct our clinical trials and the potential for those third parties to not perform satisfactorily; we may not identify suitable Biclonics® or bispecific antibody candidates under our collaboration with Incyte or Incyte may fail to perform adequately under our collaboration; our reliance on third parties to manufacture our product candidates, which may delay, prevent or impair our development and commercialization efforts; protection of our proprietary technology; our patents may be found invalid, unenforceable, circumvented by competitors and our patent applications may be found not to comply with the rules and regulations of patentability; we may fail to prevail in existing and potential lawsuits for infringement of third-party intellectual property; and our registered or unregistered trademarks or trade names may be challenged, infringed, circumvented or declared generic or determined to be infringing on other marks.
These and other important factors discussed under the caption “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, on April 28, 2017, and our other reports filed with the SEC, could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements made in this press release. Any such forward-looking statements represent management’s estimates as of the date of this press release. While we may elect to update such forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we disclaim any obligation to do so, even if subsequent events cause our views to change, except as required under applicable law. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.
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