If approved, Zeno will be the first targeted therapy for NRG1+ cancer

UTRECHT, The Netherlands and CAMBRIDGE, MA, USA I May 06, 2024 I Merus N.V. (Nasdaq: MRUS) (Merus, the Company, we, or our), a clinical-stage oncology company developing innovative, full-length multispecific antibodies (Biclonics® and Triclonics®), today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for priority review a Biologics License Application (BLA) for the bispecific antibody zenocutuzumab (Zeno) in patients with neuregulin 1 fusion (NRG1+) non-small cell lung (NSCLC) and NRG1+ pancreatic (PDAC) cancer.

“FDA acceptance of our first BLA represents an important achievement for Merus and an important potential treatment opportunity for patients with NRG1+ cancer, a disease with poor prognosis and high unmet need,” said Dr. Andrew Joe, Chief Medical Officer at Merus. “Zenocutuzumab has the potential to be the first and only targeted therapy for patients with NRG1+ lung and pancreatic cancer, and may offer a substantial improvement over currently available therapies.”

The BLA includes a comprehensive clinical data package, including data from the phase 1/2 eNRGy trial, which is investigating the safety and anti-tumor activity of Zeno monotherapy in NRG1+ NSCLC, PDAC and other solid tumors. Data from the open-label trial were presented previously at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2021 Annual Meeting, and subsequently updated at ASCO 2022 and the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2023.

The FDA has granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation (BTD) to Zeno for the treatment of patients with advanced unresectable or metastatic NRG1+ pancreatic cancer following progression with prior systemic therapy or who have no satisfactory alternative treatment options. Additionally, the FDA has granted BTD to Zeno for the treatment of patients with advanced unresectable or metastatic NRG1+ NSCLC, following progression with prior systemic therapy.

Zeno is currently under clinical development, and its safety and efficacy have not been fully evaluated by any regulatory authority.

About Zeno

Zeno is a Biclonics® that utilizes the Merus Dock & Block® mechanism to inhibit the neuregulin/HER3 tumor-signaling pathway in solid tumors with NRG1 fusions (NRG1+ cancer). Through its unique mechanism of binding to HER2 and potently blocking the interaction of HER3 with its ligand NRG1 or NRG1-fusion proteins, Zeno has the potential to be particularly effective against NRG1+ cancer. In preclinical studies, Zeno potently inhibits HER2/HER3 heterodimer formation thereby inhibiting oncogenic signaling pathways, leading to inhibition of tumor cell proliferation and blocking tumor cell survival. In clinical studies, Zeno has demonstrated anti-tumor activity in multiple types of NRG1+ cancer, including NRG1+ NSCLC and NRG1+ PDAC.

About NRG1 Fusions

The NRG1 gene encodes neuregulin (also known as heregulin), the ligand for HER3. Fusions between NRG1 and partner genes are rare, tumorigenic genomic events occurring in certain cancer types including NSCLC and PDAC.

About Merus N.V.

Merus is a clinical-stage oncology company developing innovative full-length human bispecific and trispecific antibody therapeutics, referred to as Multiclonics®. Multiclonics® are manufactured using industry standard processes and have been observed in preclinical and clinical studies to have several of the same features of conventional human monoclonal antibodies, such as long half-life and low immunogenicity. For additional information, please visit Merus’ website, X and LinkedIn.