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GEN News Highlights : Mar 23, 2009

Merck Gains Rights Xencor's Antibody Platform for $3M

Deal also includes development milestones and royalties.

Merck & Co. inked a deal to license Xencor's antibody half-life prolongation technology for $3 million up front as well as an undisclosed fee upon choosing an Xtend variant. Additional payments are stipulated for clinical development milestones and royalties on product sales.

Xencor's antibody platform enhances the serum half-life of immunoglobin molecules in different therapeutic indications by using antibody Fc variants. Other Xencor drug candidates for lymphoma indications such as anti-CD30 candidate XmAb2513 have completed Phase I clinical testing.

Xencor has entered into agreements concerning antibody Fc domains with other companies including Pfizer, Genentech, CSL, Boehringer Ingelheim, MedImmune, and Human Genome Sciences.