F-star Therapeutics Announces Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany Exercises a Fourth Licensing Option in Immuno-Oncology Collaboration

CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 05, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- F-star Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSTX), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing next generation bispecific immunotherapies to transform the lives of patients with cancer, today announced that Ares Trading S.A., an affiliate of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany has exercised a fourth licensing option to develop another bispecific program under the ongoing immuno-oncology collaboration. Under the terms of the agreement, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany will be responsible for all future development and commercialization costs and will pay future success-based milestones and royalties on any net sales, resulting from programs covered by the agreement.

The two companies have had a long standing and successful partnership and in May of 2019 Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, exercised its option to bring a first program from the collaboration into its pipeline. In July 2020, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany took an early option to a second program and in March 2021, a third option was exercised. With the fourth option now exercised, the total potential remaining milestone-based revenue due to F-star from this immuno-oncology collaboration with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany is approximately $765 million.

Eliot Forster, CEO of F-star Therapeutics, Inc, said: “We were delighted to see the recent data presented by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, from our long-standing collaboration at the recent SITC conference, demonstrating the unique potential of the F-star bispecific platform. This latest licensing option marks another positive milestone in our collaboration and it is exciting to see our partner successfully progress another mAb2 based program. Along with our internal pipeline, we believe all of these next generation immuno-oncology programs will make a real difference to the lives of patients with cancer.”

About F-star Therapeutics, Inc.

F-star Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing next generation immunotherapies to transform the lives of patients with cancer. F-star is pioneering the use of tetravalent (2+2) bispecific antibodies to create a paradigm shift in cancer therapy. The Company has four second-generation immuno-oncology therapeutics in the clinic, each directed against some of the most promising IO targets in drug development, including LAG-3 and CD137. F-star’s proprietary antibody discovery platform is protected by an extensive intellectual property estate. F-star has over 500 granted patents and pending patent applications relating to its platform technology and product pipeline. The Company has attracted multiple partnerships with biopharma targeting the significant unmet needs across several disease areas, including oncology, immunology, and CNS.

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