Sutro initiated a collaboration with Merck & Co. in July, 2018, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, to discover and develop novel immune-modulating therapies for cancer and autoimmune disorders. The research and development activities leverage Sutro’s proprietary cell-free protein synthesis and site-specific conjugation platforms, which facilitate precision design and rapid empirical optimization of protein conjugates, to discover and develop best-in-class immune-modulating cytokine derivatives for both oncology and autoimmune indications.
Under the agreement, Sutro will be primarily responsible for preclinical research and Merck will gain exclusive worldwide rights to therapeutic candidates derived from the collaboration.
Under the agreement, Sutro has received total payments of more than $90 million and is eligible for future milestone payments totaling up to $1.6 billion.
Milestones are based on the development and sale of all therapeutic candidates and all possible indications identified under the collaboration; Sutro is also eligible for tiered royalties on the sale of products.