Merus Appoints Shannon Campbell as Chief Commercial Officer and Regains Worldwide Rights to MCLA-145
January 25, 2022 at 4:30 PM EST
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UTRECHT, The Netherlands and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Merus N.V. (Nasdaq: MRUS) (“Merus”, “the Company”, “we”, or “our”), a clinical-stage oncology company developing innovative, full-length multispecific antibodies (Biclonics® and Triclonics®), today announced the appointment of Shannon Campbell as Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer. Ms. Campbell is an accomplished healthcare leader with demonstrated success leading commercial businesses across a range of specialty markets, including oncology.
“Shannon will be instrumental in advancing Merus’ mission to become a commercial-stage company, further advancing the strategy for our lead clinical program, zenocutuzumab for neuregulin 1 fusion cancer and developing our commercial approach for our pipeline of innovative multispecific antibody product candidates,” said Bill Lundberg, M.D., President, Chief Executive Officer of Merus. “Her leadership and depth of experience in launching products, managing partnerships, and delivering sustained performance in highly competitive oncology markets will be a great asset to our organization.”
Ms. Campbell will join Merus as Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer in February to lead the commercial strategy for the most advanced clinical candidate, zenocutuzumab (Zeno), as well as Merus’ robust pipeline of multispecific product candidates in development. This includes petosemtamab (MCLA-158), currently under investigation in second-line head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; MCLA-145, under investigation for solid tumors; and MCLA-129, under investigation for patients with lung and other solid tumors, particularly those that do not respond to EGFR inhibitors. Merus holds global rights to all four clinical candidates, apart from MCLA-129, for which Merus licensed to Betta Pharmaceuticals the exclusive right to develop and commercialize in China.
Ms. Campbell brings over 25 years of pharmaceutical commercialization experience and joins Merus from Novartis Pharmaceuticals, where she led Novartis’s U.S. Oncology Solid Tumor Franchise and was responsible for a broad portfolio of therapies in oncology and rare diseases. Prior to Novartis, Ms. Campbell was with Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, where she was instrumental in helping to build, launch and lead Bayer’s U.S. Oncology business.
“I am excited to join Merus at this pivotal time,” said Ms. Campbell. “The Merus pipeline of clinical-stage assets has the potential to offer meaningful benefit to patients, and I look forward to building and leading the commercial strategy for these programs.”
Merus also announced today that Incyte (Nasdaq: INCY) has elected to opt-out of its ex-U.S. development of MCLA-145, restoring full global rights to Merus. MCLA-145 is currently enrolling a global, phase 1, open-label, single-agent clinical trial evaluating MCLA-145 in patients with solid tumors. The trial consists of a dose escalation phase, followed by a planned dose expansion phase. Merus is also planning to evaluate the combination of MCLA-145 with a PD-1 blocking antibody.
"Regaining worldwide rights to MCLA-145 opens up new possibilities for Merus," said Dr. Lundberg. "We remain committed to continuing the development of MCLA-145 to explore the potential of this compound as monotherapy, as well as in combination, to address the high unmet medical need for patients with solid tumors. We look forward to the further progress and continued success of our other joint projects in research and development with Incyte under this collaboration.”
Under the terms of a 2017 Collaboration and License Agreement (“Agreement”) between Merus and Incyte, Incyte received ex-U.S. rights to MCLA-145. Incyte’s opt-out of ex-U.S. rights to MCLA-145 provides Merus the exclusive right to develop and commercialize potential MCLA-145 products globally. As part of the Agreement, Incyte will continue to support the program for a limited time while ex-U.S. activities are transitioned to Merus, and Incyte will also retain a right to a residual royalty of up to 4% on sales of future commercialization of MCLA-145, if approved.
Additionally, per the Agreement, the parties will continue to collaborate on the development and commercialization of up to ten bispecific or monospecific antibody programs. Merus also has the option to co-fund development of product candidates arising from two programs. For any program for which Merus exercises its co-development option, Merus would be responsible for 35 percent of global development costs in exchange for a 50 percent share of U.S. profits and losses and tiered royalties ranging from 6 to 10 percent on ex-U.S. sales by Incyte for these programs. Merus also has the right to elect to provide up to 50 percent of detailing activities for product candidates arising from one of these programs in the U.S.