Merck & Co. Forms Immuno-Oncology Pact

PDS Biotechnology Corporation (PDS), a private immuno-oncology company, has entered a clinical trial collaboration agreement with a subsidiary of Merck & Co. to evaluate the combination of PDS’s lead Versamune-based immunotherapy, PDS0101, with Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy, Keytruda (pembrolizumab), in a Phase II clinical trial.

Versamune is a synthetic T-cell activating nanoparticle platform that overcomes a key obstacle facing cancer immunotherapy by facilitating efficient presentation of cancer proteins recognized by the immune system to tumor-attacking immune cells called killer T-cells, according to PDS Biotech.

Merck’s Keytruda is a humanized monoclonal antibody that blocks the interaction between PD-1 and its ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2.

Source: Merck & Co.

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