Merck KGaA Partners with Biolojic Design for $376M Antibody-Drug Conjugate Development

by Roman Kasianov       News

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Merck KGaA has entered into a collaboration with Biolojic Design to develop new oncology and immunology therapeutics using Biolojic’s AI-driven drug discovery platform.

The collaboration focuses on discovering and developing multispecific antibodies, particularly in the areas of immunology and oncology. The primary goal is to create ADCs that can effectively target and inhibit tumor escape mechanisms, address the variability in tumors and patient responses, and enhance safety and efficacy in cancer treatments.

Biolojic Design’s platform employs AI and computational techniques to engineer human antibodies into programmable switches. These switches can perform specific functions such as agonism, antagonism, and conditional binding. One notable achievement from Biolojic is AU-007, an AI-designed antibody that has entered clinical trials as a selective effector cell agonist for cancer.

See also: The Rising Popularity of Antibody-Drug Conjugates, with Challenges

In addition to this partnership with Merck, Biolojic Design has existing collaborations with Nektar Therapeutics and Teva, and is progressing two proprietary programs targeting autoimmune diseases.

Financially, Biolojic will receive an initial payment in the “low double-digit million euro” range, along with research funding from Merck. The agreement includes milestone payments related to drug discovery, development, regulatory approval, and commercialization, which could total up to 346 million euros.

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