Ipsen and Marengo in Cancer Collaboration

08.08.2022 - French biopharma Ipsen and US-based Marengo Therapeutics have formed a strategic partnership that aims to advance two of Marengo’s preclinical immuno-oncology candidates.

Under the terms of the agreement, Ipsen will make an upfront payment of $45 million, as well as potential payments totaling $1.592 billion if all milestones are met, in addition to tiered sales royalty payments.

The collaboration will combine Marengo’s STAR (Selective T-Cell Activation Repertoire) platform with Ipsen’s global oncology footprint for clinical development and commercialization. The STAR platform is a multi-specific fusion protein library that targets specific T-cell receptor Vβ. The platform’s unique feature is to fine-tune the T cell response in selected T cell subsets to generate endogenous, highly functional cancer-killing T cells for solid tumors.

Marengo’s lead asset STAR0602 – the first T cell activator generated by the STAR platform – is expected to enter clinical trials at the end of 2022.

“Marengo’s foundational discovery of activation of T cell subsets via TCR Vβ is unprecedented and highly differentiated from the current immuno-oncology technologies we have seen,” said Howard Mayer, executive vice president and head of R&D at Ipsen.

“This partnership with Marengo provides a strong foundation for a productive and successful collaboration as we embark on a journey to develop novel and durable therapies that will strengthen our oncology pipeline and further enhance our commitment to people living with cancer.”

Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Marengo was launched in November 2021 by life sciences venture capital group ATP.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist