OcellO and Merus sign agreement for screening bispecific cancer antibodies

January 14, 2013

Leiden and Utrecht, The Netherlands, January 14, 2013 - OcellO B.V. and Merus B.V. have entered into a collaboration under which OcellO will provide screening services to Merus. OcellO will use its 3D cell culture-based screening platform to profile bispecific antibodies designed by Merus for the treatment of cancer. Financial details of the collaboration have not been disclosed.

“This agreement builds on a successful pilot study to test the suitability of the OcellO platform for screening Merus' therapeutic bispecific antibodies,” said Dr. Leo Price, Chief Scientific Officer at OcellO. “It aims to establish a long-term relationship between OcellO and Merus.”

Mark Throsby, Chief Operating Officer at Merus commented: “The strength of our approach is its ability to generate thousands of full-length, bispecific human IgG antibodies addressing combinations of targets expressed by tumor cells. OcellO is able to provide high quality data on the functional properties of large panels of bispecific antibodies. These data can’t be obtained from other in vitro screening assays and are pivotal in identifying antibody leads with unique modes of action."


About OcellO
OcellO provides drug discovery screening services using its proprietary high throughput 3D cell culture-based screening platform. The drug discovery industry still relies on in vitro monolayer cell cultures, which are poor simulations of human tissue and are poorly predictive of drug efficacy. OcellO’s platform uses human cells cultured in a 3D matrix, which form multi-cellular micro-tissues. These bear a striking similarity to cells in vivo regarding appearance, metabolism, gene expression and tissue function. Tissues cultured in 3D therefore provide more relevant data for predicting the in vivo responses of human tissues to therapies. The increased complexity of 3D tissues is fully exploited using high content 3D imaging to profile the effects of compounds. OcellO screens for both disease-specific and target-specific compounds. OcellO’s high throughput methodology, which automates all stages of the process, allows to perform thousands of tests per assay cycle. The result is cost-effective screening that provides rich information at an early phase of the drug discovery process.
OcellO was founded in 2011, exploiting 3D screening technology developed at Leiden University. Located at Leiden BioScience Park, OcellO is ideally situated to interact with local academic and biotech partners, but also works with customers and partners in other European countries and the USA.
For more info visit www.ocello.nl

About Merus B.V.
Merus is a biotechnology company building a pipeline of innovative, human bispecific antibodies (Biclonics™) and single cell-derived combinations of antibodies (Oligoclonics®) for cancer therapy. Through the use of a common antibody light chain and CH3 heterodimerization technology, these full-length IgG antibody therapeutics can be robustly produced at high yields from a single clonal manufacturing cell line using standard approaches. Biclonics™ and Oligoclonics® bind to multiple disease-associated targets, such as growth factor receptors expressed by tumor cells. Synergy is achieved by addressing multiple pathways/mechanisms simultaneously, thereby eliminating tumor cells more efficiently and preventing treatment escape. For more information please visit www.merus.nl

Company Inquiries:

OcellO B.V.
Dr. Leo Price leo.price(at)ocello.nl
Leiden BioPartner Center
J.H.Oortweg 21
2300 CH Leiden, The Netherlands

Merus B.V.
S. Margetson - s.margetson(at)merus.nl
Padualaan 8
3584CH Utrecht, The Netherlands

Media Inquiries:
Dr. Ludger Wess or Ines-Regina Buth
Tel. +49 (0)40 88 16 59 64 / +49 (0)30 2363 2768


Contact // Kontakt akampion Newswire:

Dr. Ludger Wess
Managing Partner, akampion
Hamburg Office
T: +49 (0)40 88 16 59 64
F: +49 (0)40 88 16 59 65
Ines-Regina Buth
Managing Partner, akampion
Berlin Office
T: +49 (0)30 23632768
F: +49 (0)30 23632769

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