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F-star Announces the Achievement of a Clinical Milestone in its Immuno-Oncology Collaboration with Merck

F-star Announces the Achievement of a Clinical Milestone in its Immuno-Oncology Collaboration with Merck

  • Enrolment and dose escalation in FS118 Phase I clinical study trigger milestone payment

Cambridge, UK, 24 July 2018 – F-star, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel bispecific antibodies (mAb²™), today announces that FS118 has successfully reached the first clinical milestone in its collaboration with Merck, a leading science and technology company.

FS118 is a first-in-class antagonist mAb² which simultaneously targets the LAG-3 and PD-L1 immuno-suppressive pathways and which has the potential to overcome tumour resistance and restore the natural anti-cancer immune response.

In May 2018, FS118 entered into a Phase I study in patients with advanced malignancies that have progressed on PD-1/PD-L1 therapy.

“Achieving this clinical milestone is a significant step in our alliance with Merck” said John Haurum, CEO of F-star. “FS118 is uniquely positioned as a first-in-class treatment for cancer patients. We are pleased with the progress being made and look forward to advancing our next mAb² molecules into the clinic.”

Under the collaboration, which was announced in June 2017, Merck has an exclusive option to acquire FS118 and a further four early stage immuno-oncology bispecific antibody programmes which are under discovery and development by F-star. Further payments are contingent on option exercise and achievement of clinical and commercial milestones with a potential total deal value reaching over €1B.

FS118 was generated using F-star’s proprietary Modular Antibody Technology™ by incorporating an anti-LAG-3 Fcab™ (Fc-region with antigen binding) into a PD-L1-specific antibody. Further information about the ongoing Phase I clinical trial is available on NCT03440437.

About F-star
F-star is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to delivering life-changing treatments to cancer patients. Through our highly efficient Modular Antibody Technology™ platform, we are building and progressing an extensive immuno-oncology pipeline of mAb²™, a novel class of disruptive bispecific antibodies designed to unlock new biology which cannot be achieved by combining monospecific drugs. F-star’s technological expertise and scientific approach have been validated through strategic partnerships with leaders in the pharma and biotech industries.

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Issued for and on behalf of F-star by Instinctif Partners.
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Sue CharlesManaging Partner

Ashley TappAssociate Partner