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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Local Biotech Makes Deal with Giant

Agoura Hills biotech company A2 Biotherapeutics on Wednesday announced it has entered into a collaboration agreement with pharma giant Merck to further develop its cancer therapies.According to the agreement, A2 will receive an unspecified upfront payment, as well as milestone payments and royalties on sales of any approved product. Equity investment and reimbursement of some expenses will be available to the Agoura Hills company.Terms indicate A2 will continue its research and development of Tmod cell therapy to treat solid tumor cancers, and New Jersey-based Merck will help develop, manufacture and commercialize the cancer therapy once it pushes past Phase 1 clinical trials.Tmod cells, A2 explained in a statement, are T cells engineered to recognize and kill a specific solid tumor cell.Merck has the option to create a new Tmod program with increased economic terms, according to the agreement.“This transaction extends our cash runway on the heels of our successful $71.5 million Series B in October,” Scott Foraker, chief executive of A2, said in a statement. “It also brings Merck’s immunotherapy and other expertise for the Tmod candidate, especially in the later stages of development, manufacturing and commercialization and enables A2 to build allogeneic product development and manufacturing capabilities.”

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