Merus treats first patient with MCLA-145 in Phase 1 trial for solid tumors

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Merus (NASDAQ:MRUS) treated the first patient with MCLA-145, a bispecific antibody therapeutic candidate, in its Phase 1 trial for the treatment of solid tumors.

MCLA-145 is an immunostimulatory molecule that binds to human PD-L1 and CD137. The dose escalation and expansion trial will test the safety and tolerability of MCLA-145 as well as preliminary antitumor activity.

“MCLA-145’s unique triple action is designed to recruit T-cells, activate T-cells and also prevent T-cell exhaustion,” Dr. Andres Sirulnik, Merus’ EVP and CMO, said in a statement.

“Importantly, MCLA-145 has potential to overcome known systemic side effects of CD137 agonists currently in development through more targeted delivery to the tumor microenvironment,” he added.

Merus is developing MCLA-145 as part of its collaboration with Incyte (NASDAQ:INCY), which began in December 2016.

Jennifer Poland