Merus Announces First Patient Dosed in Phase 1 Clinical Trial of MCLA-158 in Patients with Solid Tumors
- IND Accepted in April by the U.S.
MCLA-158 is designed to bind to cancer stem cells expressing leucine-rich repeat-containing G protein-coupled receptor 5 (Lgr5) and epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR). MCLA-158 was identified from a large library of bispecific antibodies targeting molecules belonging to the Wnt and receptor tyrosine kinase signaling pathways as part of work performed by the suppresSTEM consortium, a project that was funded by the
“The commencement of our Phase 1 clinical trial of MCLA-158 is an important milestone for the advancement of our pipeline of bispecific antibodies obtained from our Biclonics® technology platform,” said Ton Logtenberg, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer. “We believe MCLA-158 has the potential to address features that limit currently approved colorectal cancer-targeted therapies, including issues with off-target toxicity and inability to target tumor stem cells, and thus, potentially treat a broader population of patients more effectively.”
The Phase 1, open-label, multicenter clinical trial of MCLA-158 consists of two parts, a dose escalation and a dose expansion. The dose escalation part is intended to determine the appropriate dose of MCLA-158. The dose expansion part will evaluate the safety and tolerability of the defined dose of MCLA-158 in patients with solid tumors. The dose escalation and expansion parts of the trial will also examine the preliminary antitumor activity of single-agent MCLA-158.
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 and clinical studies to have several of the same features of conventional human monoclonal antibodies, such as long half-life and low immunogenicity. Merus’ most advanced bispecific antibody candidate, MCLA-128, is being evaluated in a Phase 2 combination trial in two metastatic breast cancer populations. MCLA-128 is also being evaluated in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial in gastric, ovarian, endometrial and non-small cell lung cancers. Additional pipeline programs include MCLA-117, which is currently being studied in a Phase 1 clinical trial in patients with acute myeloid leukemia, and MCLA-158, a Biclonics® being studied in a Phase 1 clinical trial in patients with solid tumors with an initial focus on metastatic colorectal cancer. Through its collaboration with
The suppresSTEM consortium consisted of
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 the potential or promise of Merus’ platform for generating bispecific antibodies and their development, the design, treatment potential, clinical development and clinical development plans for Merus’ bispecific antibody therapeutic candidates, the advancement of the Phase I clinical trial in
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
These and other important factors discussed under the caption “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the
Source: Merus N.V.