IRB Barcelona and Merus form a research collaboration to develop antibodies targeting the tumor microenvironment

Merus N.V. is a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company developing innovative bispecific antibody therapeutics.

The research collaboration will combine Merus’ Biclonics technology platform and unique cell and animal models at the Colorectal Cancer Laboratory led by Eduard Batlle to investigate the stroma.

Eduard Batlle's laboratory and Merus N.V. (NASDAQ:MRUS), a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company developing innovative bispecific antibody therapeutics, have announced this January entry into a research collaboration to jointly develop novel agents that target the tumor microenvironment.

The research collaboration will combine Merus’ Biclonics technology platform for the discovery and development of therapeutic bispecific antibodies and unique cell and animal models at the Colorectal Cancer Laboratory to evaluate therapeutic targeting of stromal cells that support tumor growth and metastasis.

This new research collaboration builds on the working relationship established in the suppresSTEM project (2013-2016), an European consortium to validate new treatments against colorectal cancer. "That collaboration resulted in MCLA-158, a Biclonics targeting EGFR and Lgr5 that is currently in IND-enabling studies,” said Mark Throsby, Chief Scientific Officer of Merus. “We anticipate that accessing IRB’s insights and tools to investigate the tumor stromal environment will support the discovery and validation of Biclonics that block the initiation and progression of metastatic cancer.”

"Merus’ Biclonics technology represents a promising platform to develop bispecific antibodies to specifically target the tumor stroma,” says Eduard Batlle. “We are optimistic that this partnership will streamline the generation of differentiated therapeutics to treat patients with difficult-to-treat cancer subtypes."

This collaboration is encompassed in the Botín Foundation's Research Programme, which Eduard Batlle belongs to.