CHENGDU, China, July 26, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE via SEAPRWire.com) — Kelun-Biotech (a holding subsidiary of Sichuan Kelun Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd), a clinical-stage biotech company focused on biologic and small molecule discovery and development, announced today that it has entered into a collaboration and exclusive license agreement with MSD (the tradename of Merck & Co., Inc Rahway NJ USA), to develop an investigational antibody drug conjugate (ADC) for the treatment of solid tumors.
Under the terms of the agreement, Kelun-Biotech has granted MSD global, exclusive rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize an investigational ADC. Kelun-Biotech and MSD will also collaborate on the early clinical development of the investigational ADC. In return, Kelun-Biotech will receive an upfront payment of $35mm and is eligible to receive future development, approval and commercial milestone payments totaling up to $901mm, plus tiered royalties on net sales.
This latest transaction follows MSD’s decision earlier this year to exercise an option for worldwide rights, except for the Greater China region (including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan), to SKB-264, an investigational TROP2 targeting ADC. SKB-264 is currently being evaluated in a Phase 3 clinical trial for the treatment of metastatic triple-negative breast cancer and in Phase 2 trials for non-small cell lung cancer and advanced solid tumors. Kelun-Biotech and MSD will collaborate on certain early clinical development plans, including evaluating the potential of SKB-264 as a monotherapy and in combination with KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) for advanced solid tumors.
“These collaborations with MSD underscore the sophistication and capabilities of Kelun-Biotech’s ADC platform and the potential of our ADC therapeutics,” said Dr. Junyou Ge, Chief Executive Officer of Kelun-Biotech. “Incorporating MSD’s deep and broad global expertise with Kelun-Biotech’s innovation power has the potential to generate great development synergy, significantly accelerating the development and commercialization of the collaboration programs. These collaborations will also strengthen our strategic position in building a global, innovative, fully-integrated biopharmaceutical company.”
“The collaboration with Kelun-Biotech strengthens and diversifies MSD’s oncology pipeline as we seek to further the potential of ADCs to provide more treatment options and improve outcomes for people with cancer,” commented Dr. Eric H. Rubin, senior vice president, oncology early development, MSD Research Laboratories. “We look forward to advancing this collaboration with the Kelun-Biotech team.”
Kelun Biotech is a clinical-stage biotech company established in 2016, a holding subsidiary of Sichuan Kelun Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd, engaged in biologic therapeutics as well as small molecule discovery and development. The company focuses on unmet medical needs such as oncology and autoimmune conditions and strives to be a leader in novel therapeutic discovery and development. Since its inception, Kelun-Biotech has established multi-modal drug discovery platforms based on global standards and made important development breakthroughs in antibody-drug conjugation, immuno-oncology, bispecific antibody and novel small molecule targeting and designs.
Kelun-Biotech’s current pipeline includes 55 therapeutic programs for the treatment of cancers, autoimmune conditions, infectious diseases, and metabolic syndromes. Fourteen programs are in clinical development in China, two of which have entered into clinical development in the US. Most notably, Kelun-Biotech has built out a proprietary ADC platform which is protected by a complex patent portfolio. Our comprehensive ADC capabilities range from novel target discovery, payload screening, linker design, as well as GMP manufacturing. As of today, Kelun-Biotech is advancing 10 novel ADC programs in varying stages of development.
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