Immutep, Merck KGaA Announce Collaboration And Supply Agreement - Quick Facts

Australian biotechnology firm Immutep Ltd. (IMMP) announced Tuesday a new collaboration and supply agreement with German science and technology firm Merck KGaA (MKGAY.PK) for a Phase I/IIa clinical trial in patients with solid tumours, called INSIGHT-005.

The trial will evaluate the feasibility, safety and efficacy of Immutep's lead product candidate, eftilagimod alpha (efti or IMP321), when given in combination with bintrafusp alfa (M7824), an investigational bifunctional fusion protein immunotherapy being jointly developed by Merck and GlaxoSmithKline.

Bintrafusp alfa aims to block two immunosuppressive pathways, TGF-ß and PD-L1, while efti activates antigen presenting cells, via the LAG-3 - MHC II pathway.

The study will be run as an amendment to the protocol of the ongoing Phase I INSIGHT trial as the fifth arm (Stratum E).

INSIGHT-005 is planned to take place in two clinical sites in Germany. Immutep is financially supporting the trial to be run by IKF, and Merck is financially contributing to the biomarker-related work.

Subject to regulatory and ethics committee approval, the first patient is expected to be enrolled in mid-2021 and the trial is expected to deliver first data in early 2022.

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