Eli Lilly’s Loxo Oncology Enters into $1.6 Billion Research and Collaboration Agreement with Merus N.V.

Eli Lilly’s Loxo Oncology Enters into $1.6 Billion Research and Collaboration Agreement with Merus N.V. TrialsiteN

Loxo Oncology at Lilly, a research and development group of Eli Lilly and Company and Merus N.V., a clinical-stage oncology company developing multi-specific antibodies, announced a research collaboration and exclusive license agreement for up to $1.6 billion. The partnership is designed to leverage Merus’ proprietary Biclonics platform along with the scientific and rational drug design expertise of Loxo Oncology at Lilly to research and develop up to three CD3-engaging T-cell re-directing bispecific antibody therapies.

“CD3-engaging bispecific antibodies are rapidly becoming one of the most transformative immune-modulating modalities used to treat cancer. We expect these therapies will become an important component of the Loxo Oncology at Lilly biologics strategy,” said Jacob Van Naarden, chief operating officer of Loxo Oncology at Lilly. “Merus has built a differentiated platform and one that we believe can enable us to create bispecific antibody therapies with wider therapeutic indexes than those available today. We look forward to working closely with Merus to develop new potential medicines for patients with cancer.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Merus will lead discovery and early-stage research activities while Loxo Oncology at Lilly will be responsible for additional research, development and commercialization activities. Merus will receive an upfront cash payment of $40 million, as well as an equity investment by Lilly of $20 million in Merus common shares. Merus is also eligible to receive up to $540 million in potential development and commercialization milestones per product, for a total of up to approximately $1.6 billion for three products, as well as tiered royalties ranging from the mid-single to low-double digits on product sales should Lilly successfully commercialize a therapy from the collaboration.

“The collaboration with Loxo Oncology at Lilly and their world class research capabilities opens up exciting possibilities for Merus’ Biclonics® platform,” said Bill Lundberg, MD., President and Chief Executive Officer at Merus. “Our CD3 T-cell engager platform includes over 175 novel and diverse anti-CD3 common light chain antibodies across a wide range of affinities and attributes and enables functional screening of large libraries for optimal performance. We look forward to working together with Loxo Oncology at Lilly to define a new generation of medicines to treat cancer.”