BALTIMORE, MA, USA I September 19, 2019 I Y-Trap, Inc. has signed a collaboration and license agreement with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, for the exclusive development of multiple specific antibody-ligand traps for cancer immunotherapy.

The collaboration leverages Y-Trap’s proprietary platform of multifunctional antibody-ligand traps for immuno-oncology. The Y-Trap platform exploits combinatorial protein engineering to counteract key determinants of immune dysfunction in the tumor microenvironment. Y-Trap and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, will collaborate to explore the pharmacology of Y-Trap multifunctional proteins and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, will be responsible for all development, manufacturing and commercialization activities.

Under the agreement, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, will provide Y-Trap with an upfront payment in addition to milestone payments and royalties based on the achievement of specific pre-clinical, clinical development, regulatory, and commercial milestones.

“Cancers evolve to counteract and defeat immune surveillance by co-opting and amplifying natural mechanisms of immune suppression,” said Atul Bedi, MD, MBA, Co-founder and Chief Scientist of Y-Trap, Inc. “Y-Trap’s multifunctional antibody-ligand traps are designed to counteract key determinants of immune tolerance to entrain more effective antitumor immunity. We look forward to dovetailing the respective strengths of Y-Trap and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, to advance the development of multiple molecules from this platform for cancer immunotherapy.”

“We are encouraged by the potential of antibody-ligand traps to target multiple types of advanced cancers that may not be addressed by current treatment options,” said Joern-Peter Halle, Head of External Innovation and Head of Translational Innovation Platform Immuno-Oncology at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. “Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has long-standing expertise in the research and development of bi-functional antibodies and proteins and we are looking forward to collaborating with Y-Trap to develop candidates for immuno-oncology from their highly innovative platform.”

About Y-Trap

Y-Trap, Inc., is a biotechnology company focused on the development of revolutionary technologies for cancer immunotherapy. The company’s patented technology is a novel platform of targeted multifunctional immunomodulatory antibody-ligand traps for cancer immunotherapy. The ability of this novel class of next-generation multifunctional antibody-ligand traps to unleash potent antitumor immune responses offers a promising targeted immunotherapeutic strategy for many types of advanced and treatment-refractory cancers that evade current monoclonal antibodies and immune checkpoint inhibitors. For more information, please visit

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About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 52,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2018, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, generated sales of € 14.8 billion in 66 countries.

The company holds the global rights to the name and trademark “Merck” internationally. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Performance Materials. Since its founding 1668, scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to the company’s technological and scientific advances. To this day, the founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company.