Merck, F-Star ink research agreement
Merck Serono, Darmstadt, Germany, has reported that a research, license and commercialization agreement was signed with F-Star, Vienna, Austria, for the discovery of new antibody-derived therapeutics against inflammatory disease targets, using F-Star's Modular Antibody Technology.
Under the terms of the agreement, Merck Serono will nominate up to three therapeutic targets and the parties will collaborate to jointly discover mono-specific Fc-based targeted biologics (Fcabs) and bi-specific IgG-based targeted biologics (mAb2) for which Merck KGaA will have exclusive worldwide development and commercialization rights. F-Star will receive an initial technology access fee and research-based funding and is eligible to receive additional license fees, development, regulatory and commercialization milestones which in aggregate could reach EUR 492 million, as well as undisclosed tiered royalties on product sales.
"We believe that F-Star's Modular Antibody Technology has the potential to offer important functional advantages over conventional antibodies and will potentially allow us to generate highly differentiated drugs for patients with so far unmet medical needs,” said Susan Herbert, head of portfolio development at Merck Serono.