Ipsen Strikes Deal Worth Up to $1.59 Billion With Marengo Therapeutics

Ipsen and Marengo Therapeutics will collaborate to advance two precision immuno-oncology candidates.

Marengo Therapeutics, a therapeutics company specializing in oncology medicines, announced a collaboration with Ipsen to advance two precision immuno-oncology candidates on August 1, 2022. Under the terms of the agreement, Ipsen will make an upfront payment of $45 million for the rights to develop and commercialize the medicines, with potential payments totaling $1.592 billion plus additional tiered sales royalty payments.

The two medicines are based on Marengo’s selective T-cell activation repertoire (STAR) platform, a multi-specific fusion protein library. It is designed to develop potent T cell activators by targeting specific TCR Vβ variants fused to different costimulatory moieties. According to a company press release, its unique feature is its ability to fine-tune the T cell response in selected T cell subsets to generate endogenous, highly functional cancer-killing T cells for solid tumors. Marengo’s lead candidate STAR0602 is the first T-cell activator generated by this platform and is slated to enter clinical trials following an investigational new drug application (IND) submission at the end of 2022.

“Marengo’s foundational discovery of activation of T cell subsets via TCR Vβ is unprecedented and highly differentiated from the current immuno-oncology technologies we have seen,” said Howard Mayer, executive vice-president and head of R&D, Ipsen, in the press release. “This partnership with Marengo provides a strong foundation for a productive and successful collaboration as we embark on a journey to develop novel and durable therapies that will strengthen our oncology pipeline and further enhance our commitment to people living with cancer.”

“Our strategic partnership with Ipsen underscores our shared ambition to develop transformative medicines for people fighting cancer,” said Zhen Su, CEO, Marengo Therapeutics, in the press release. “Marengo brings a precision medicine approach to the field of Immuno-oncology with a focus on T cell activation and this collaboration is an important validation of our STAR platform beyond our lead candidate. Together, this partnership is a demonstration of the strong progress and promise of our innovative scientific platform.”

Marengo will lead preclinical development efforts and related costs until an IND to FDA is made. Following this, Ipsen will assume development and commercialization responsibilities.

Source: Marengo Therapeutics