Merck, MacroGenics Form Immuno-Oncology Pact

Merck & Co. and MacroGenics, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing monoclonal antibody-based therapeutics for treating cancer, autoimmune disorders, and infectious diseases, have formed a collaboration to evaluate the combination of MacroGenics’ anti-HER2 product candidate, margetuximab, with Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy, Keytruda (pembrolizumab), in a Phase Ib/II clinical trial in patients with advanced gastric cancer.

Margetuximab is an Fc-optimized monoclonal antibody that targets the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, or HER2, an antigen critical for the growth of many types of tumors, including breast and gastroesophageal cancers. Using its Fc-optimization platform, MacroGenics has designed the Fc region of margetuximab to enhance the killing of tumor cells through an Fc-dependent mechanism, including antibody dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity, or ADCC. . 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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