Monday, October 1, 2018

Merck Looks To Future -- In Immuno-Oncology -- Supplementing Pipeline Via Dragonfly Therapeutics' TriNKET Approach

For its up to $700 million investment (which total would actually include lots of soft-dollar research help), Kenilworth would get an exclusive license to any solid tumor therapeutics, based on using Dragonfly tech to help natural killer cells find cancerous cell targets.

This is a nice endorsement of the small company -- and should it meet all the milestones, would also give Celgene a nice return on its initial $33 million, from last year. Here is the story from Fierce Biotech -- courtesy my erstwhile Anon. commenter:

. . . .Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Dragonfly has signed an R&D collaboration the U.S. Big Pharma across a series of solid tumor targets using its so-called TriNKET platform, which generates bridges designed to bind to proteins found on the surface of tumor cells and natural killer (NK) cells. The aim is to stimulate NK cells.

Once activated and aware of the presence of the cancer cells, NK cells attack tumors directly while also enlisting the support of T and B cells. T cells, the cornerstone of current immuno-oncology approaches, then join the direct attack on the tumor, while B cells produce antibodies to help the fight against the cancer. . . .

Of course, this deal is immaterial to massive mother Merck, at present -- but could one day augment the pembrolizumab franchises. Day by day, cancer is becoming a very survivable diagnosis -- but at a steep monetary price, to be certain, for multiple years of extended quality of life.

Onward, with hope that the Senate will do the right thing shortly -- for (if nothing else) this man has shown himself an unfit, rabid partisan [making statements on national television that arguably violate the federal judicial canon of ethics, at § 5(C)] -- for a seat on the high court.


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