Pharma Focus Asia

Dragonfly Therapeutics Announces Multi-Target Expansion of its Collaboration with Merck

Friday, March 20, 2020

Dragonfly Therapeutics, Inc. ("Dragonfly"), announced an expansion of its strategic collaboration with Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada to discover, develop and commercialize a number of Dragonfly's candidate natural killer ("NK") cell engager immunotherapies for oncology, infectious disease, and immune disorders.

Under the agreement Dragonfly will grant Merck, through a subsidiary, the option to license exclusive worldwide intellectual property rights to multiple candidates developed using Dragonfly's TriNKET™ technology platform for a number of new targets. Merck will pay Dragonfly approximately $47.5 million consisting of an upfront cash payment and an equity investment in the company. In addition, Dragonfly is eligible to receive additional payments associated with development, regulatory and sales milestones as well as potential royalties on sales of approved product.

"Merck is a world leader in drug development across a wide number of therapeutic areas, has a demonstrated history of delivering breakthrough treatment options for patients, and has been a fantastic partner for us over the past several years," said Bill Haney, co-founder and CEO of Dragonfly Therapeutics. "We're excited to expand our work with Merck beyond cancer into infectious disease and immune disorders, where we believe our novel NK-cell engager therapies may have strong advantages as drug candidates."

"We are pleased with the progress made to date working with our colleagues at DragonFly and look forward to expanding our work to include additional therapeutic candidates," said Dr. Dean Li, Senior Vice President Discovery and Translational Medicine, Merck Research Laboratories.

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