San Francisco, CA-based Sutro Biopharma collaborates with pharmaceutical and biotech companies to discover and develop novel, next-generation therapeutics using its cell-free protein synthesis platform, XpressCF. The company also is developing its own oncology pipeline.
Under the agreement with Merck (known as MSD outside the US and Canada), Sutro will be largely responsible for preclinical research and Merck will gain exclusive worldwide rights to therapeutic candidates resulting from the collaboration.
Sutro CEO Bill Newell told us the collaboration is focused on research programs in immuno-oncology and autoimmune disorders.
“As we are also collaborating with Celgene Corporation on immuno-oncology programs, this broadens the depth of our research and preclinical development efforts in the immuno-oncology field by aligning our research efforts with Merck’s, a leading immuno-oncology drug developer,” Newell said.
Sutro will receive an upfront payment of $60m and is eligible for milestone payments of up to $1.6bn as well as tiered royalties on product sales.
Sutro is separately developing antibody drug conjugates (ADC) product candidates, including two internally-developed ADCs, STRO-001, which is in Phase I clinical testing for lymphoma and multiple myeloma, and STRO-002, which is expected to enter clinical trials for ovarian and endometrial cancer by early 2019.
“Additionally, we are collaborating with Celgene on a B-Cell Maturation Antigen, or BCMA, antibody drug conjugate for multiple myeloma and for which Celgene has indicated an intent to enter clinical development in early 2019,” Newell said.
The company also is collaborating on multiple ADCs with Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany (EMD Serono in the US and Canada).