LSP’s portfolio company Merus announces global strategic collaboration with Incyte to discover and develop bispecific antibodies
- Upfront payment of $120 million plus equity investment of $80 million (at $25 per share)
- Up to 11 bispecific antibody programs, utilizing Merus’ proprietary Biclonics® platform
- Three programs with rights to co-fund development and commercialization
Eight programs fully funded by Incyte with Merus eligible to receive milestones of up to $350 million per program, resulting in total milestone opportunity of $2.8 billion, as well as royalties
Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 21 December 2016. It is with great pleasure that LSP, the specialist European healthcare investment firm, announces that its portfolio company Merus N.V. (NASDAQ: MRUS) and Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ: INCY) have entered into a global, strategic collaboration agreement focused on the research, discovery and development of bispecific antibodies utilizing Merus’ proprietary Biclonics® technology platform. The Collaboration and License Agreement grants Incyte the exclusive rights for up to 11 bispecific antibody research programs, including two of Merus’ current preclinical immuno-oncology discovery programs.
LSP financed and actively supported Merus since 2010, when LSP co-led the company’s Series B financing round. Since that investment, Merus has transformed from a unique technology platform company into a clinical-stage product company, focused on discovering and developing next-generation cancer immunotherapies.
The Merus investment further validates LSP’s long-term approach of identifying breakthrough technologies, building companies around them and playing an active role all along. LSP’s partner John de Koning has represented LSP on the company’s Board and has worked closely with management and other Board members over the past years to steer Merus towards this important event in the history of the company.
Under the terms of the collaboration, Incyte has agreed to pay Merus an upfront payment of $120 million. In addition, Incyte has agreed to purchase 3.2 million shares of Merus stock at $25 per share, for a total equity investment of $80 million.
The parties have agreed to collaborate on the development and commercialization of up to 11 bispecific antibody programs. For one current preclinical program, Merus will retain all rights to develop and commercialize approved products in the United States, and Incyte will develop and commercialize approved products arising from the program outside the United States. Merus also has the option to co-fund development of product candidates arising from two other programs.
For each of the other eight programs, Incyte has agreed to independently fund all development and commercialization activities. For these programs, Merus will be eligible to receive potential development, regulatory and sales milestone payments of up to $350 million per program, which could result in an aggregate milestone opportunity of $2.8 billion. Merus will also be eligible to receive tiered royalties ranging from 6 to 10 percent on global sales of any approved products under these eight programs.
A version of the company’s press release can be found here.
LSP (Life Sciences Partners) is a leading independent European investment firm, providing financing for private and public life-science companies. Since the late 1980s, LSP’s management has invested in a large number of highly innovative enterprises, many of which have grown to become leaders of the global life-science industry. With over EUR 1 billion of investment capital raised to date and offices in Amsterdam, Munich and Boston, LSP is one of Europe’s largest and most experienced specialist life-science investors. For more information, please visit www.lspvc.com.
Dr. John de Koning
+31 (0)20 664 5500