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Mersana Therapeutics Announces Research Collaboration and License Agreement with Janssen to Advance Novel Antibody-Drug Conjugates

Friday, February 04, 2022

Mersana Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing a pipeline of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) targeting cancers in areas of high unmet medical need, today announced a research collaboration and license agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, to discover novel ADCs for three targets. The agreement was facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation.

“We are very excited to enter into this collaboration with Janssen as we work to transform outcomes for patients,” said Anna Protopapas, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mersana Therapeutics. “Our fully homogenous Dolasynthen platform enables both precise control of drug-to-antibody ratio (DAR) as well as the ability to vary the DAR across a broad range. Dolasynthen provides a unique opportunity to optimally design an ADC matched to a given target. We look forward to bringing both the differentiated capabilities of our Dolasynthen platform and our deep expertise in optimizing ADCs to this collaboration.”

Ms. Protopapas continued, “In addition, by extending our platforms and expertise to new programs beyond our promising wholly-owned and first-in-class pipeline of ADC candidates, we see this value-driving collaboration as further strengthening our financial position as we seek to deliver important new treatments for patients living with cancer.”   

Under the terms of the agreement, Janssen will provide proprietary antibodies for three targets. Mersana will apply its expertise and its proprietary Dolasynthen platform to discover novel ADC product candidates. Mersana may leverage Synaffix’s GlycoConnectTM technology as its preferred site-specific ADC bioconjugation technology. Mersana will collaborate with Janssen on target candidates during preclinical development, with Janssen being solely responsible for clinical development and commercialization. Mersana will receive an upfront payment of $40 million. Mersana is eligible to receive reimbursement of certain costs as well as more than $1 billion in potential milestone payments, plus mid-single-digit to low double-digit percentage royalties on worldwide net sales of ADCs against the selected targets.

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