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Merck KGaA. (9/17/14). "Press Release: Merck Serono and Sutro Biopharma to Partner on Development of Antibody Drug Conjugates". Darmstadt.

Organisations Organisation Merck Serono (division of Merck KGaA)
  Group Merck (DE) (Group)
  Organisation 2 Sutro Biopharma Inc.
Products Product antibody-drug conjugates (ADC) technology
  Product 2 antibody-drug conjugate (ADC)
Persons Person Blaukat, Andree (Merck (DE) 201312 Head Translational Innovation Platform Oncology at Merck Serono)
  Person 2 Newell, William J. (Sutro Biopharma 201409 CEO)

> Merck Serono to enhance its access to antibody drug conjugate technologies and to expand its oncology pipeline

> Sutro's Xpress CF and Xpress CF+ platforms to be utilized to develop antibody drug conjugates for multiple undisclosed targets

Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical division of Merck, and Sutro Biopharma, San Francisco, a biopharmaceutical company developing antibody drug conjugates and bispecific antibodies, today announced a collaboration and license agreement to develop antibody drug conjugates (ADCs). ADCs are composed of an antibody linked to a cytotoxic drug. The antibody is thought to specifically target and deliver the cytotoxic drug to the cancer cells.

The collaboration will allow Merck Serono to take advantage of Sutro's technology platforms in its oncology programs to develop ADCs for multiple undisclosed targets. Both companies believe that ADCs have the potential for directly targeting cancer cells while safeguarding healthy tissue, and will combine Merck Serono's knowledge about target biology with Sutro's technological and discovery capabilities to jointly develop ADCs. By following a strategic approach of creating partnerships, Merck Serono and Sutro aim to develop drug candidates that may ultimately address the unmet needs of patients.

"We continue to explore opportunities that will allow us to better understand the potential ADCs have in directly targeting cancer cells," said Andree Blaukat, Senior Vice President and Head of Translational Innovation Platform Oncology at Merck Serono. "This collaboration with Sutro is reflective of our ongoing commitment to advancing innovation that may provide new therapies for patients."

"This partnership will help us to advance our position as a leading drug discovery partner to renowned pharmaceutical companies like Merck," said William J. Newell, chief executive officer of Sutro. "Together with Merck Serono, we will further advance our efforts to develop antibody therapeutics, engineered to deliver a cytotoxic agent to cancer cells. Our technology has been developed to allow loading of an antibody with multiple different agents, and to enable a potential higher uptake of the drug in the tumor cell through an improved stability of the ADC."

Under the terms of the agreement, Sutro and Merck Serono will collaborate to discover and develop multiple ADCs utilizing Sutro's cell-free protein synthesis platforms, Xpress CF™ and Xpress CF+™. Sutro will be responsible for delivering ADCs for Phase I clinical trials. Merck Serono will be responsible for clinical development and commercialization of any resulting products.

Merck Serono will make an upfront payment to Sutro and will fund certain R&D activities. Sutro is also eligible to receive payments on completion of certain research, development and regulatory milestones potentially totaling approximately € 230 million as well as royalties on product sales. Further financial details are not being disclosed.

About Sutro Biopharma

Sutro Biopharma, located in South San Francisco, is developing a new generation of antibody drug conjugate therapeutics and bifunctional antibody-based therapeutics for targeted cancer therapies. These therapeutics may significantly extend the clinical impact of current oncology therapeutic approaches and are beyond what can be envisioned with current, cell-based expression technologies. Sutro's biochemical synthesis technology, which underpins these therapeutics, allows the rapid and systematic exploration of many protein drug variants to identify drug candidates. Once the product candidates are identified, production can be rapidly and predictably scaled up to commercial levels. Sutro has established a Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) facility for the production of clinical supplies of materials using its biochemical protein synthesis platform. Sutro has formed multiple partnerships with biopharma companies utilizing its technology.

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About Merck Serono

Merck Serono is the biopharmaceutical division of Merck. With headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany, Merck Serono offers leading brands in 150 countries to help patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, infertility, endocrine and metabolic disorders as well as cardiovascular diseases. In the United States and Canada, EMD Serono operates as a separately incorporated subsidiary of Merck Serono. Merck Serono discovers, develops, manufactures and markets prescription medicines of both chemical and biological origin in specialist indications. We have an enduring commitment to deliver novel therapies in our core focus areas of neurology, oncology, immuno-oncology and immunology.

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Merck is a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors. With its four divisions Merck Serono, Consumer Health, Performance Materials and Merck Millipore, Merck generated total revenues of € 11.1 billion in 2013. Around 39,000 Merck employees work in 66 countries to improve the quality of life for patients, to further the success of customers and to help meet global challenges. Merck is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company - since 1668, the company has stood for innovation, business success and responsible entrepreneurship. Holding an approximately 70 percent interest, the founding family remains the majority owner of the company to this day. Merck, Darmstadt, Germany is holding the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are Canada and the United States, where the company is known as EMD.

Record changed: 2017-04-02


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