Merck Gains Portfolio of Investigational Antibodies Modulating TGFβ
KENILWORTH, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Tilos Therapeutics, a privately held biopharmaceutical company developing therapeutics targeting the latent TGFβ complex for the treatment of cancer, fibrosis and autoimmune diseases.
“At Merck we continue to enhance our robust pipeline through active execution of our business development strategy," said Dr. Dean Li, senior vice president, discovery and translational medicine, Merck Research Laboratories. “Tilos has developed a compelling portfolio of candidates that employ a novel approach to modulating the potent signaling molecule TGFβ by binding to latency-associated peptide, with potential applications across a range of disease indications.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Merck, through a subsidiary, will acquire all outstanding shares of Tilos for total potential consideration of up to $773 million, including an upfront payment as well as contingent milestone payments.
“We are proud that the Tilos team has advanced the discoveries of our scientific founders by developing a portfolio of anti-LAP antibodies designed to realize the full potential of TGFβ-modulating therapeutics,” said Dr. Barbara Fox, CEO, Tilos. “This agreement with Merck, an industry leader in biopharmaceutical research and development, provides meaningful validation for our therapeutic approach and best positions our pipeline for broad clinical and commercial success.”
Tilos was founded by Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund and Partners Innovation Fund, based on discoveries by the laboratory of Dr. Howard Weiner at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Additional investment was provided by ShangPharma Innovation Fund.
About TGFβ and LAP
TGFβ is a potent cytokine believed to play an important role in the development of cancer and fibrotic diseases. TGFβ is secreted as a complex with the protein, latency-associated peptide (LAP). LAP forms a cage around TGFβ, holding the cytokine in an inactive state until it is deployed. Evidence has shown that anti-LAP antibodies block the release of TGFβ from the TGFβ-LAP complex with the potential to provide a novel therapeutic mechanism to reduce TGFβ activity.
For more than a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and communities around the world - including cancer, cardio-metabolic diseases, emerging animal diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and infectious diseases including HIV and Ebola. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.
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