SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Feb. 05, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Atreca, Inc. (Atreca) (BCEL), a biotechnology company focused on the development of novel cancer therapeutics generated through a unique discovery platform based on interrogation of the active human immune response, today announced that it has entered into a strategic research collaboration with Merck (known as MSD outside the United States and Canada), to identify the antigenic targets of select antibodies discovered by Atreca with potential utility in oncology.
“We are excited to collaborate with Merck, a global leader in oncology, to identify novel antibody targets that may hold the potential to transform the future treatment of cancer,” said John Orwin, Chief Executive Officer. “To date, our differentiated discovery platform has yielded over 1,600 antibodies that bind selectively to non-autologous tumor tissue. We are pleased Merck has recognized the potential of our differentiated discovery platform to deliver novel antibody-target pairs in oncology and will be working with us to elucidate the antigenic targets of certain antibodies we have generated from active human immune responses, accelerating our drug development efforts. We look forward to a highly productive collaboration.”
The antibodies included in the collaboration agreement will be selected by Atreca based on mutually agreed criteria and other considerations. Under the terms of the agreement, Atreca will receive an upfront cash payment and retain exclusive ownership and rights to develop all Atreca antibodies included in the collaboration with Merck, while Merck will receive a right-of-first-negotiation should Atreca seek to partner or out-license one or more of these antibodies. Following target identification, both companies will have freedom to advance therapeutic candidates against the target(s) identified under the collaboration, with development and commercial milestones payable by either party.
About Atreca, Inc.
Atreca is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel antibody-based cancer immunotherapeutics generated by its differentiated discovery platform. Atreca’s platform allows access to an unexplored landscape in oncology through the identification of unique antibody-target pairs generated by the human immune system during an active immune response against tumor. These antibodies provide the basis for first-in-class therapeutic candidates, such as ATRC-101, with the potential to address unmet need in large groups of cancer patients. The IND for ATRC-101, the company’s lead product candidate, has been cleared by the FDA and a Phase 1b study in multiple solid tumor cancers is expected to commence in early 2020. For more information on Atreca, please visit www.atreca.com.
This release contains forward-looking statements regarding our strategy and future plans, including statements regarding the development of ATRC-101 and our research, development and clinical and regulatory plans, and the timing thereof. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about our plans, objectives, representations and contentions and are not historical facts and typically are identified by use of terms such as “will”, “expect,” “believe,” “potential,” “continue,” and similar words, although some forward-looking statements are expressed differently. Our actual results may differ materially from those indicated in these forward-looking statements due to risks and uncertainties related to the initiation, timing, progress and results of our research and development programs, preclinical studies, any clinical trials and Investigational New Drug application and other regulatory submissions, and other matters that are described in our prospectus, dated June 19, 2019, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pursuant to Rule 424(b) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2019, which are available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov, including the risk factors set forth therein. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release, and we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement in this press release, except as required by law.