Dutch biotech Merus lands $30.7M in Series B

Netherlands-based Merus has raised $30.7 million (€21.7 million) Series B financing. Merus says the funding will help it produce potent human antibody-based drugs. These drugs will either be full-length bispecific antibodies or Oligoclonics, which are mixtures of therapeutic human monoclonal antibodies produced by a single cell. Merus will also advance its pipeline of oncology, inflammation and infectious disease candidates.

Novartis Option Fund, Pfizer, Bay City Capital, Life Sciences Partners and Aglaia Oncology Fund all participated in the round. Merus says it also inked an agreement with Novartis Option Fund for a license to one of Merus' oncology programs. The developer stands to gain $200 million in upfront payments and potential milestones.

"The proceeds of this investment round enable us to continue to advance the products in our portfolio towards the clinic and to demonstrate that Oligoclonics and Merus' bispecific antibodies represent next generation, more potent antibody therapeutics that can target diseases unaddressable by a single monoclonal antibody," says Merus CEO Ton Logtenberg in a statement. "The agreement with Novartis Option Fund further underscores that big pharma recognizes the potential of our innovative antibody therapeutics."

- see Merus' release