UTRECHT, Netherlands and NANJING, China, Jan. 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Merus (Nasdaq:MRUS) and Simcere Pharmaceutical Group today announced that Merus has agreed to grant Simcere an exclusive license to develop and commercialize in China three bispecific antibodies utilizing Merus’ proprietary Biclonics® technology platform in the area of immuno-oncology. Merus will retain all rights outside of China.
Under the terms of the agreement, Merus has agreed to lead research and discovery activities while Simcere has agreed to be responsible for the Investigational New Drug (IND) enabling studies, clinical development, regulatory filings and commercialization of these product candidates in China. As a key strategic component of the collaboration, Simcere will be responsible for IND enabling studies and manufacturing of clinical trial materials in China, which Merus intends to use to assist regulatory filing and early stage clinical development in the rest of the world.
“We believe this collaboration leverages Merus’ unique platform and Biclonics® suite of technologies with Simcere’s drug development experience and strong commercial presence in China,” said Ton Logtenberg, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Merus. “For Merus, this represents an important step towards becoming a commercial-stage company with a strong pipeline of differentiated bispecific antibodies in immuno-oncology. There is a clear strategic fit between the two companies and we believe that by combining our collective expertise and resources, we will be able to develop innovative therapeutics in the China market and globally.”
“We are very excited about the collaboration with Merus,” said Mr. Jinsheng Ren, Chairman and CEO of Simcere. “Simcere is committed to developing innovative therapeutics for the Chinese market. This collaboration provides Simcere access to Merus’ leading bispecific antibody platform and has the potential to introduce multiple first-in-class immuno-oncology therapeutics in the Chinese market. The opportunity allows us to leverage our capability, expertise and investment in China to support the development of innovative bispecific antibodies in the global markets.”
Merus will be eligible to receive upfront and milestone payments contingent upon Simcere achieving certain specified development and commercial goals. Merus will be eligible to receive tiered royalty payments on sales of any products resulting from the collaboration in China from Simcere. Simcere will be eligible to receive tiered royalty payments on sales outside of China from Merus. Additional financial details were not disclosed.
About Simcere Pharmaceutical Group
Simcere is a research and development-driven Chinese pharmaceutical company committed to bringing high quality and more effective therapies to patients by combining in house R&D with partnerships. Simcere focuses its efforts on therapeutic areas of oncology, neurology, inflammation/immunology, cardiovascular and infectious diseases.
Simcere is dedicated to research & development of innovative pharmaceuticals and branded generic drugs in China, with a State Key Lab of Translational Medicine and Innovative Drug Development. By leverage of its commercial capability, all top products of the company have leading market share in China.
By leveraging partnering experience with multinational pharmaceutical companies and innovative biotech companies, Simcere continues to advance international medical scientific achievements transformation and create value for partners in China.