Dr. Joe brings seasoned research and development leadership and deep expertise in the clinical development of immuno-oncology, antibody, and targeted therapies for cancer
UTRECHT, The Netherlands and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 27, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Merus N.V. (Nasdaq: MRUS), a clinical-stage oncology company developing innovative, full-length multispecific antibodies (Biclonics® and Triclonics™), today announced the appointment of Andrew Joe, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Joe is a medical oncologist with extensive expertise in the development of immuno-oncology, antibody and targeted cancer therapies, and with broad leadership experience in oncology drug development.
“Andrew is an accomplished R&D leader, and he will be instrumental in advancing our clinical pipeline of multispecific antibodies, including our lead program, Zenocutuzumab (“Zeno”), for neuregulin 1 (NRG1) fusion cancers,” said Bill Lundberg, M.D., President, Chief Executive Officer and Principal Financial Officer of Merus. “Andrew’s experience with approvals of molecularly-targeted and tumor-agnostic cancer therapies, as well as large basket trials, will enhance our clinical execution and personalized medicine approach with Zeno.”
Dr. Joe will oversee all clinical and regulatory strategy and activities at Merus. He brings over 20 years of experience in clinical drug development and translational research within industry and academic medicine. Dr. Joe most recently led the immuno-oncology program at Sanofi, which included co-development of LIBTAYO® (cemiplimab-rwlc) with Regeneron in skin, lung and other cancers. Previously at Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., he led the KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) New Indications Development Team in obtaining the first tumor/histology-agnostic drug approval in Microsatellite Instability-High (MSI-H) cancer, and the first immuno-oncology drug approval in a gynecological malignancy (cervical cancer). Dr. Joe also played key roles at Novartis in the global approval of Zykadia® (ceritinib) in ALK-positive lung cancer and at Roche in the global approval of ZELBORAF® (vemurafenib) in BRAF-mutant metastatic melanoma. Dr. Joe is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. He received B.S. degrees in chemistry and biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.D. from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
“I am thrilled to join Merus at this exciting and pivotal time,” said Dr. Joe. “The early clinical data reported on Zeno in NRG1 fusion cancers are quite promising, and I look forward to bringing the program towards potential registration. I’m equally excited about the company’s Phase 1 clinical and preclinical programs and their potential to become meaningful, transformative medicines for patients with cancer.”
Merus is a clinical-stage oncology company developing innovative full-length human bispecific and trispecific antibody therapeutics, referred to as Multiclonics®. Multiclonics® are manufactured using industry standard processes and have been observed in preclinical and clinical studies to have several of the same features of conventional human monoclonal antibodies, such as long half-life and low immunogenicity. For additional information, please visit Merus’ website, www.merus.nl
Forward Looking Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements contained in this press release that do not relate to matters of historical fact should be considered forward-looking statements, including without limitation, Dr. Joe being instrumental in advancing Merus’ clinical pipeline of multispecific antibodies, including our lead program, Zeno for NRG1 fusion cancers, enhancing Merus’ clinical execution and personalized medicine approach with Zeno, overseeing all clinical and regulatory strategy and activities at Merus, bringing the NRG1 fusion program towards potential registration; and the company’s Phase 1 clinical and preclinical programs and their potential to become meaningful, transformative medicines for patients with cancer. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the following: our need for additional funding, which may not be available and which may require us to restrict our operations or require us to relinquish rights to our technologies or Biclonics® Triclonics™ and multispecific antibody candidates; potential delays in regulatory approval, which would impact our ability to commercialize our product candidates and affect our ability to generate revenue; the lengthy and expensive process of clinical drug development, which has an uncertain outcome; the unpredictable nature of our early stage development efforts for marketable drugs; potential delays in enrollment of patients, which could affect the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals; our reliance on third parties to conduct our clinical trials and the potential for those third parties to not perform satisfactorily; impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic; we may not identify suitable Biclonics® or bispecific antibody candidates under our collaborations or our collaborators may fail to perform adequately under our collaborations; our reliance on third parties to manufacture our product candidates, which may delay, prevent or impair our development and commercialization efforts; protection of our proprietary technology; our patents may be found invalid, unenforceable, circumvented by competitors and our patent applications may be found not to comply with the rules and regulations of patentability; we may fail to prevail in potential lawsuits for infringement of third-party intellectual property; and our registered or unregistered trademarks or trade names may be challenged, infringed, circumvented or declared generic or determined to be infringing on other marks.
These and other important factors discussed under the caption “Risk Factors” in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended March 31, 2020 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, on May 11, 2020, and our other reports filed with the SEC, could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements made in this press release. Any such forward-looking statements represent management’s estimates as of the date of this press release. While we may elect to update such forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we disclaim any obligation to do so, even if subsequent events cause our views to change, except as required under applicable law. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.
LIBTAYO® is a registered trademark of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. KEYTRUDA® is a registered trademark of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. Zykadia® is a registered trademark of Novartis AG. ZELBORAF® is a registered trademark of Genentech Inc.
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