Foster City, Calif., [March 6, 2024] – Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:GILD) and Merus N.V. (Nasdaq:MRUS) today announced a landmark research collaboration, option, and license agreement aimed at discovering novel dual tumor-associated antigens (TAA) targeting trispecific antibodies. The partnership, valued at over $1.5 billion, marks a significant advancement in oncological research and underscores both companies’ commitment to innovation in cancer therapeutics.

Under the terms of the agreement, Merus, a clinical-stage oncology company renowned for its innovative antibody platforms, will lead early-stage research activities for two programs, with an option to pursue a third. Gilead will have the exclusive right to license programs developed under the collaboration upon the completion of select research activities. Should Gilead exercise its option, it will assume responsibility for additional research, development, and commercialization activities for the program.

“We have seen the successful application of bispecific antibodies as an immune-modulating modality used to treat cancer. We are now looking ahead to the development of additional multispecific antibodies capable of driving robust anti-tumor immune responses with an improved efficacy and safety profile,” said Flavius Martin, M.D., Executive Vice President, Research, Gilead Sciences.

Merus’ proprietary Triclonics® platform, known for its capability to design antibodies capable of simultaneously binding to three targets at once, will be leveraged in this collaboration to advance transformative new cancer therapies. “We are looking forward to working with Gilead to develop novel T-cell engager antibodies using our Triclonics® technology,” said Hui Liu, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Chief Business Officer & Head of Merus US.

Under the agreement, Merus will receive an upfront cash payment of $56 million for initial targets, along with an equity investment by Gilead of $25 million in Merus common shares. Additionally, Merus stands to earn up to $1.5 billion, including additional near-term and option payments, potential development and commercialization milestones, as well as tiered royalties on product sales.

This partnership represents a significant step forward in the advancement of cancer therapeutics, combining Gilead’s expertise in oncology with Merus’ innovative antibody platforms to address significant unmet medical needs.

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