Merus and Selexis will combine technology platforms to produce colorectal cancer combination therapy.
Merus, which develops bispecific antibody therapeutics to treat cancer patients, and Selexis, which has technologies for biologics drug discovery and Research Cell Bank (RCB) development, received a EUREKA Eurostars grant of €2.1 million (USD 2.33 million) to develop bispecific antibody combination products for the treatment of colorectal cancer, the companies announced on May 20, 2015.
In the program, Merus and Selexis will combine their unique and proprietary Oligoclonics and SUREtechnology platforms, respectively, to develop a product combining two, bispecific, full-length immunoglobulin G antibodies that simultaneously targets and potently inhibits three receptor tyrosine kinases. The lead Oligoclonics candidate was discovered as part of a previous EUREKA program and will be produced from a single manufacturing cell line developed by Selexis.
“Combining drugs is at the heart of therapeutic approaches to cancer,” said Mark Throsby, CSO of Merus, in a press release. “Bispecific antibody combinations have potency and targeting advantages that provide the basis for improved anti-cancer therapies. With the best-in-class RCB generation capabilities of Selexis on board, the existing knowledge and infrastructure for the manufacturing of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies is optimally leveraged. This collaboration represents an important step towards affordable combination therapies for cancer.”
“The unique SUREtechnology Platform based on a proprietary cell line will deliver an unprecedented timeline from transfection to RCB in just 12 weeks,” said Dr. Igor Fisch, CEO of Selexis, in a press release. “With our optimized off-the-shelf CHO media and feeds, we will maximize expression of the bispecific antibody combinations generated from Merus’ Oligoclonics platform. This will save the project substantial cost and time and facilitate a more rapid delivery of innovative therapeutics to cancer patients”