Symphogen Receives Milestone Payment in Merck KGaA Sym004 Collaboration
COPENHAGEN, Denmark – Symphogen, a private biopharmaceutical company developing recombinant antibody mixtures, announced today that it has received a milestone payment from Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, related to the successful achievement of specific development objectives for Sym004, an investigational antibody mixture targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR).
Out-licensed world-wide by Symphogen to Merck in September 2012, Sym004 was the subject of two data presentations at the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, earlier this month. Specifically, Sym004 reported Phase 2 proof-of-concept data in squamous cell carcinoma of the head & neck (SCCHN) and in metastatic colorectal cancer that signaled clinical activity and were supportive of the anticipated mixture’s mechanism of action.
“We are pleased to achieve meaningful progress so early in our collaboration,” said Kirsten Drejer, Chief Executive Officer of Symphogen. “This payment substantially enhances the financial position of Symphogen and demonstrates our commitment to assisting Merck KGaA to advance this promising program.”
Sym004 is comprised of two antibodies that are not only designed to block ligand binding, receptor activation and downstream signaling but are also thought to elicit removal of the EGFR receptors from the cancer cell surface by inducing EGFR internalization and degradation. As of 21 May 2013, 105 patients have been treated with Sym004 in clinical trials.
Sym004 was out-licensed to Merck KGaA in 2012 following phase 2 clinical data in late stage cancer patients.
About Symphogen A/S
Symphogen is developing next-generation antibody therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and is dedicated to bringing truly innovative oncology products to the market. The company has advanced the frontier of antibody discovery by creating well characterized antibody mixtures that address multiple oncology targets in a single drug product. The company has matured its pipeline and has currently brought two product candidates into the clinic. The company’s productive technology suite - capable of identifying, selecting and manufacturing optimal antibody mixtures – fuels Symphogen’s innovative pipeline.