Ipsen inks deal to take two Marengo oncology drugs to the clinic

Aug. 1, 2022

Ipsen and Marengo Therapeutics announced a strategic partnership to advance two of Marengo’s preclinical STAR platform-generated candidates into the clinic.

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Marengo, launched last year, relies on a proprietary Selective T Cell Activation Repertoire (STAR) platform — a multi-specific fusion protein library that targets specific TCR Vβ variants fused to different co-stimulatory moieties to develop potent T-cell activators. The flexible platform is designed to "turbo-charge" cancer patients' T-cells.

Under the terms of the agreement, Paris-based Ipsen will make an upfront payment of $45 million, together with potential payments up to a total of $1.592 billion if all milestones are met, in addition to royalties. Marengo will lead the preclinical development efforts and will expense related costs until the submission of an IND to the U.S. FDA. Ipsen will assume responsibilities for clinical development and commercialization.

One of the drugs involved in the deal is Marengo's lead asset, STAR0602, the first T-cell activator generated by the STAR platform. It is slated to enter clinical trials following IND submission at the end of 2022. The second target was not specified, but Marengo notes four other pipeline assets in early preclinical development.