News Release

Merus receives grant for breast cancer antibody therapy

May 16, 2011 at 3:08 PM EDT

Posted on 16 May, 2011

Utrecht, The Netherlands and Zurich, Switzerland, May 16 2011 – Merus BV and ChromaCon AG announced today the award of a EUREKA Eurostars grant with a total budget of €1.8 million to discover and develop bispecific antibodies for treatment of metastatic breast cancer.

In this program, Merus will use its humanized mouse platform (MeMo™) to generate therapeutic human monoclonal antibodies that will be expressed as bispecifics from a single cell (Oligoclonics™). ChromaCon will be responsible for establishing a scalable process to purify the bispecific antibodies using its enabling ContiChromä purification platform. It is expected that the resulting lead bispecific antibodies will have superior biological activity and lower toxicity compared to current antibody therapies (e.g. Herceptin) used to treat breast cancer.

Mark Throsby, COO of Merus, said: “Once again we are delighted with the recognition and support our technology receives from EUREKA. With this Eurostars subsidy, Merus will be able to further develop its innovative technologies and product pipeline. In particularly this subsidy allows us to strengthen our already successful interaction with ChromaCon to build an industry leading bispecific antibody platform.”

“Guido Stroehlein, CEO ChromaCon commented: “Bispecific antibody product development has been severely hampered in the past by the lack of suitable purification technologies. We are glad that we can offer a generic platform that enables the economic development of this product class and we are delighted to collaborate with Merus, a leader in bispecific antibody product technology.”

The subsidy is for three years and aims to yield at least one candidate ready to begin clinical development.