Mereo BioPharma and Cancer Focus Fund Announce Partnership for Phase 1b/2 Study of Etigilimab in Clear Cell Ovarian Cancer
LONDON and REDWOOD CITY, Calif. and HOUSTON, Texas, April 30, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mereo BioPharma Group plc (NASDAQ: MREO) (“Mereo” or the “Company”), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on oncology and rare diseases, and Cancer Focus Fund, LP, a unique venture capital fund established in collaboration with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (“MD Anderson”) to provide funding and clinical expertise to advance promising cancer therapies, today announced a partnership to evaluate Mereo’s lead anti-TIGIT therapeutic antibody candidate, etigilimab, in clear cell ovarian cancer, a rare cancer that accounts for approximately 5–10% of all ovarian carcinomas in North America.
The Mereo and Cancer Focus Fund partnership will support a Phase 1b/2 clinical study of etigilimab in combination with an anti-PD-1 antibody in clear cell ovarian cancer, to be conducted at MD Anderson and led by Shannon Westin, MD, MPH, associate professor of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine. The study will be financed by Cancer Focus Fund, in exchange for upfront consideration of $1.5 million of Mereo shares and additional payments based on the achievement of certain milestones.
“We are honored to partner with Cancer Focus Fund on clinical studies of etigilimab in this rare and aggressive form of ovarian cancer,” said Dr. Denise Scots-Knight, Chief Executive Officer of Mereo. “This program is the first investment made by Cancer Focus Fund since its inception. We believe that this speaks to the significant potential of etigilimab in the emerging TIGIT space. We look forward to working closely with the Cancer Focus Fund team and with Dr. Westin and her team at MD Anderson to design and execute the trial.”
“Cancer Focus Fund is partnering with MD Anderson to help advance novel anticancer drug candidates through early clinical development, and we are delighted that our first investment is in support of Mereo’s anti-TIGIT antibody, etigilimab,” said Ross Barrett, a founder and Managing Partner of Cancer Focus Fund. “The TIGIT immune receptor is a promising new target for cancer immunotherapy. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with Mereo and MD Anderson to jumpstart the clinical assessment of etigilimab in clear cell ovarian cancer, which lacks effective treatment options once advanced.”
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Mereo Forward-Looking Statements
All of the Company’s forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties some of which are significant or beyond its control and involve assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s historical experience and its present expectations or projections. You should carefully consider the foregoing factors and the other risks and uncertainties that affect the Company’s business, including those described in the “Risk Factors” section of its latest Annual Report on Form 20-F, reports on Form 6-K and other documents furnished or filed from time to time by the Company with the SEC. The Company wishes to caution you not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements after the date they are made, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent required by law.
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