Cue Biopharma Extends Research Collaboration for the Development of Immuno-STAT Biologics for the Treatment of Defined Autoimmune Diseases with Merck
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov. 19, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cue
Biopharma, Inc. (Nasdaq: CUE), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company engineering a novel class of injectable biologics to selectively engage and modulate targeted T cells within the
patient’s body, announced today that the company has extended the term of the research program under its existing 2017 research collaboration and license agreement with Merck toward developing a
clinical candidate for the treatment of type 1 diabetes and an additional undisclosed autoimmune disease.
“We are very pleased with the progress to date in our ongoing strategic collaboration with Merck,” said Anish Suri, Ph.D., president and chief scientific officer of Cue Biopharma. “Extending the research term of our agreement based on promising preclinical data with a goal of identifying a clinical candidate underscores the significant potential of our therapeutic Immuno-STAT (Selective Targeting and Alteration of T cells) platform and CUE-300 series in the treatment of debilitating autoimmune diseases.”
Under the terms of the extension, Cue Biopharma will receive additional financial research support to further study and develop promising preclinical biologics with the objective of identifying clinical candidates.
Cue Biopharma entered into an exclusive patent license and research collaboration agreement with Merck in November 2017 to develop biologics for the treatment of selected autoimmune diseases. For further information regarding the amendment, please refer to the Current Report on Form 8-K to be filed by Cue Biopharma with the SEC on November 19, 2020.
Immuno-STAT biologics are being designed for targeted modulation of disease-associated T cells in the areas of immuno-oncology and autoimmune disease. Each of our biologic drug candidates is designed using our proprietary scaffold comprising: 1) a peptide-MHC complex (pMHC) to provide selectivity through interaction with the T cell receptor (TCR), and 2) a unique co-stimulatory signaling molecule to modulate the activity of the target T cells.
The simultaneous engagement of co-regulatory molecules and pMHC binding mimics the signals delivered by antigen presenting cells (APCs) to T cells during a natural immune response. This design enables Immuno-STAT biologics to engage with the T cell population of interest, resulting in highly targeted T cell modulation. Because our drugs are delivered directly in the patient’s body (in vivo), they are fundamentally different from other T cell therapeutic approaches that require the patients’ T cells to be extracted, modified outside the body (ex vivo), and reinfused.