Cue Biopharma, which raised $26 million at the beginning of 207, to help advance their cancer and autoimmune treatments, has now ended this year with a new deal with big pharma Merck. Financial details are unclear, but we do know that Merck could potentially dish out $374 million in certain bio bucks for R&D and regulatory milestones, as well as more payments related to sales.
Merck is acquiring interest into Cue Biopharma work using biologics to target T cell receptors to assist with patients’ immune systems beat cancer and autoimmune diseases. The Cue platform was originally developed in Almo’s lab at the Albert Einstein College, and its first investment was from the National Institutes of Health.
The biotech company says it has developed a “highly productive platform for designing biologic drugs that generate tailored immune responses from disease-relevant T cell populations by emulating the signals, or cues, delivered by the body’s antigen presenting cells.”
It is utilizing the technique both on its own, and in the new trend of combinations with checkpoint inhibitors. It also is optimistic its drugs can produce the wanted efficacy with a strong safety profile.
Within the terms of the deal, Cue Biologics platform will be put to use to “develop biologics engineered to selectively modulate disease-relevant T cell subsets for the treatment of autoimmune disease,” it reported in a statement.
The multiyear pact will go focus on “multiple disease targets” across “certain primary disease indication areas,” though again, more details were not announced on exact targets.