Utrecht, The Netherlands — Merus B.V., a biopharmaceutical company focusing on innovative human antibody therapeutics, announced today that it has successfully retained full freedom to operate for its proprietary transgenic MeMo® mouse. In opposition proceedings at the European Patent Office, the opposition division ruled on September 17 that European patent EP 1 360 287 B1, owned by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., was revoked in its entirety.
In 2012, Regeneron was granted a European patent entitled “Methods of Modifying Eukaryotic Cells”. The patent is part of Regeneron’s IP portfolio around its VelocImmune® mouse for therapeutic human antibodies. Merus filed an opposition against this patent in June 2013, thereby requesting revocation of the patent.
“This outcome fully confirms our firm belief that we have freedom to operate for our MeMo® mice for common light chain therapeutic human antibodies,” said Ton Logtenberg, CEO of Merus. “The decision by the opposition division will allow for continued use in Europe of our MeMo® mice for the generation of bispecific antibodies (Biclonics®) for the treatment of cancer patients.”
About Merus B.V. – www.merus.nl
Merus is a fully-integrated biotechnology company developing cancer therapeutics that combine the benefits of monoclonal antibodies with the ability of simultaneously addressing multiple targets. Merus has two lead programs in development, MCLA-128 for the treatment of solid tumors and MCLA-117 for the treatment of hematological malignancies. The company is also developing a broad pipeline of preclinical programs that are available for partnering. Merus’ Biclonics® bind to multiple disease-associated targets, thereby eliminating tumor cells more efficiently and preventing treatment escape. In Merus´ Biclonics®-ENGAGE approach used in the MCLA-117 program, bispecific antibodies are used to induce the cytotoxic activity of T cells to kill cancer cells. All of Merus’ technologies are available for licensing.