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Caris Life Sciences Teams Up with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany to Uncover Fresh Cancer Targets and Speed Up Development of Unique Antibody Drug Conjugates

Friday, April 05, 2024

Caris Discovery™, the therapeutic research arm of Caris Life Sciences®, has announced a strategic partnership with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, to accelerate the discovery and development of antibody-drug conjugates (ADC) for cancer patients.

Brian Lamon, PhD, Chief Business Officer of Caris, expressed excitement about the collaboration, emphasizing its potential to identify groundbreaking ADC targets. He stated, "This partnership reinforces our commitment to leveraging our unique multi-omics approach to uncover truly novel targets for combating tumors."

As part of the agreement, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, will provide Caris with an upfront payment and research funding. Additionally, Caris stands to earn milestone payments of up to $1.4 billion, along with tiered royalties, based on discovery, development, regulatory, and sales achievements. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, will gain an exclusive global license to develop, manufacture, and commercialize ADC therapeutics targeting selected targets.

Paul Lyne, Global Head of Research Unit Oncology at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, highlighted their dedication to addressing significant unmet needs in various cancer types. He emphasized, "Through close collaboration with Caris and their unique discovery platform, we enhance our capabilities to develop novel ADCs, ultimately bolstering our oncology portfolio."

Caris Discovery leverages Caris' extensive molecular profiling business to identify druggable targets inaccessible through traditional methods. By leveraging its proprietary ADAPT Biotargeting™ platform, AI and machine learning capabilities, patient tissue repository, and a dedicated research laboratory, Caris aims to discover and validate therapeutic targets for its biopharma partners. Targets discovered through this partnership will be pursued by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, with responsibilities spanning preclinical and clinical research to commercialization.

Milan Radovich, PhD, Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at Caris, expressed pride in the collaboration's potential to offer new treatment options for cancer patients, stating, "Caris Discovery is uncovering novel targets in patient populations where precision therapeutics are lacking, and we are pleased to work closely with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, to address this challenge."



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