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Merus Announces Publication of an Abstract for Presentation at the AACR Annual Meeting 2024: Zeno is effective in cancer models with high NRG1 expression

UTRECHT, The Netherlands and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 05, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 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 the publication of an abstract highlighting the preclinical evaluation of the bispecific antibody zenocutuzumab (Zeno) for poster presentation at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2024 taking place in San Diego, CA April 5-10, 2024.

The abstract describes Zeno’s activity in preclinical models representing different tumor types expressing high neuregulin 1 (NRG1) levels. High NRG1 expression is associated with poorer prognosis in certain cancers and resistance to standard therapies. The anti-tumor efficacy of Zeno in vivo against a panel of 28 patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models representing different tumor types was examined. The results show that Zeno significantly inhibited tumor growth in seven high-NRG1-expressing PDX models representing multiple different tumor types.

Presentation Details:

Title: Zenocutuzumab, a HER2xHER3 bispecific antibody, is effective in cancer models with high NRG1 expression.
Session Category: Experimental and Molecular Therapeutics
Session: Antibody-Drug Conjugates and Bispecific Antibodies
Date: Monday, April 8, 2024
Time: 9:00 am-12:30 p.m. PT
Location: Poster Section 23
Poster #: 14
Abstract #: 1903

The full abstract is available on the AACR website. The poster will be available on the Merus website at the start of the session.

Zeno is being investigated in the phase 1/2 eNRGy trial and Early Access Program which are assessing the safety and anti-tumor activity of Zeno monotherapy in NRG1+ cancer. Based on recent productive and collaborative discussions with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, we believe we will have sufficient clinical data in the first half of 2024 to support potential Biologics License Application submissions in NRG1+ non-small cell lung cancer and NRG1+ pancreatic cancer.

About Zeno
Zeno is an antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC)-enhanced Biclonics® that utilizes the Merus Dock & Block® mechanism to inhibit the neuregulin/HER3 tumor-signaling pathway in solid tumors with NRG1 gene 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 also potently inhibits HER2/HER3 heterodimer formation and tumor growth in models harboring NRG1 fusions.

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.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements contained in this press release that do not relate to matters of historical fact should be considered forward-looking statements, including without limitation statements regarding the clinical development of Zeno, preclinical activity, the translation, if any, of such activity in clinical development; and our belief that we will have sufficient clinical data in the first half of 2024 to support potential Biologics License Application submissions in NRG1+ non-small cell lung cancer and NRG1+ pancreatic cancer. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the following: our need for additional funding, which may not be available and which may require us to restrict our operations or require us to relinquish rights to our technologies or Biclonics®, Triclonics® and multispecific antibody candidates; potential delays in regulatory approval, which would impact our ability to commercialize our product candidates and affect our ability to generate revenue; the lengthy and expensive process of clinical drug development, which has an uncertain outcome; the unpredictable nature of our early stage development efforts for marketable drugs; potential delays in enrollment of patients, which could affect the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals; our reliance on third parties to conduct our clinical trials and the potential for those third parties to not perform satisfactorily; impacts of the market volatility; we may not identify suitable Biclonics® or bispecific antibody candidates under our collaborations or our collaborators may fail to perform adequately under our collaborations; our reliance on third parties to manufacture our product candidates, which may delay, prevent or impair our development and commercialization efforts; protection of our proprietary technology; our patents may be found invalid, unenforceable, circumvented by competitors and our patent applications may be found not to comply with the rules and regulations of patentability; we may fail to prevail in potential lawsuits for infringement of third-party intellectual property; and our registered or unregistered trademarks or trade names may be challenged, infringed, circumvented or declared generic or determined to be infringing on other marks.

These and other important factors discussed under the caption “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2023 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, on February 28, 2024, and our other reports filed with the SEC, could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements made in this press release. Any such forward-looking statements represent management’s estimates as of the date of this press release. While we may elect to update such forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we disclaim any obligation to do so, even if subsequent events cause our views to change, except as required under applicable law. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.

Biclonics®, Triclonics® and Multiclonics® are registered trademarks of Merus N.V.

Investor and Media Inquiries:
Sherri Spear
Merus N.V.
VP Investor Relations and Corporate Communications

Kathleen Farren
Merus N.V.
Corp Comms/IR

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