Complix Enters into Strategic Collaboration with MSD to Develop Cell-Penetrating Alphabodies to Treat Cancer

HASSELT, Belgium, January 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

Complix to receive upfront fees, research funding, and milestone payments

Complix, a biopharmaceutical company developing a pipeline of transformative protein therapeutics, called Alphabodies™, for the treatment of cancer and severe autoimmune diseases, announced it has entered into a strategic drug discovery collaboration with Merck & Co., Inc. (known as "MSD" or "Merck" (in the United States and Canada)) through its subsidiary, Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., to develop Cell-Penetrating Alphabodies (CPABs) for the treatment of cancer. 

Under the terms of the agreement, Complix will use its proprietary Alphabody platform to deliver CPABs against up to two intracellular cancer targets. MSD will fund related research activities and has an option to the exclusive, worldwide rightsfor any of the resulting compounds.   Complix is entitled to receive an upfront payment and potential development milestones of up to $280 million, as well as tiered royalties.

Dr Mark Vaeck, CEO of Complix, said: "This collaboration with MSD is a major corporate milestone for Complix and highlights the potential of our unique CPAB platform, which we believe will deliver game changing biotherapeutics for the treatment of cancer. With such a high quality partner, I am confident that Complix will be able to rapidly progress the development of CPAB drug candidates that we will generate against cancer targets of interest to MSD. I am very much looking forward to working with the team of MSD."

"This collaboration with Complix is an excellent example of our focus on finding and bringing forward new approaches that will further enhance and complement our immuno-oncology clinical development program," said Dr. Rob Kastelein, scientific associate vice president, MSD Research Laboratories. "This sort of deep and intensive type of collaboration is at the core of MSD's vision to bring forward innovative, breakthrough science that extends the lives of patients with cancer."  

CPABs are a revolutionary class of small proteins engineered to bind to a variety of antigens. Data available show that CPABs have the potential to address a wide range of disease targets, including intracellular targets that are difficult for current therapies to reach. To date, Complix has shown that CPABs have the unique ability to enter tumor cells effectively and selectively modulate intracellular protein-to-protein interactions, which play a key role in the initiation and progression of a broad range of cancers. CPABs are also able to enter many different types of tumor cells and remain stable within the tumor tissue for up to 24 hours post administration.

About Complix

Complix is a biopharmaceutical company developing a pipeline of game changing protein therapeutics, called Alphabodies™, mainly focused on oncology and autoimmune diseases.

Alphabodies are a revolutionary class of protein therapeutics that have the potential to address a wide range of disease targets, in particular, intracellular targets that are considered undruggable by current drug formats, such as antibodies or small chemicals.

Complix' current R&D efforts are focused on the development of Cell Penetrating Alphabodies (CPABs) that have demonstrated a unique capacity to enter tumor cells and tissues effectively and selectively modulate intracellular protein-to-protein interactions (PPIs), which play a key role in the initiation and progression of cancer.

Complix is also developing Alphabody based bispecifics for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. Its most advanced drug candidate CMX-02 is a bispecific Alphabody-antibody fusion protein that simultaneously targets two key cytokines in the inflammation cascade, namely TNFα and IL-23. Complix believes that CMX-02, with its dual activity, has the potential to offer major clinical benefits over existing therapies.

Complix NV (Belgium) and its affiliate Complix SA (Luxembourg) have established a strong intellectual property position protecting the Alphabody™ platform and its emerging product portfolio through the filing of multiple broad patent applications. Alphabody-based therapeutics are independent of antibody-based patent claims and offer a unique freedom-to-operate position.

Since its founding in 2008 Complix has raised a total of more than €20 million in venture financing (US$22 million), including a €12 million B round in June 2013 and a €7 million Series A equity round in 2010.