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Merus Announces Collaborations with Nationwide Medical Organizations in the Netherlands and Japan to Enhance Screening and Identification of Cancer Patients with NRG1 Fusion Tumors and to Raise Awareness of the eNRGy Clinical Trial

Merus N.V. (Nasdaq: MRUS), a clinical-stage oncology company developing innovative, full-length multispecific antibodies (Biclonics® and Triclonics™), today announced collaborations with nationwide medical organizations in the Netherlands and Japan to raise awareness of the eNRGy trial and to provide molecular screening opportunities for patients with cancers that may have neuregulin 1 (NRG1) fusions. In the collaborations, Merus has agreed to support access to next generation sequencing for eligible patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma in the Netherlands, and pancreatic adenocarcinoma and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in Japan, aimed to identify the presence of NRG1 fusions and raise awareness of potential paths to enrollment in Merus’ Phase 1/2 eNRGy trial of bispecific antibody zenocutuzumab (Zeno). The collaborating organizations in the two countries are:

  • Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam (Erasmus MC) in the Netherlands has agreed to perform a nationwide campaign, in affiliation with the Dutch Pancreatic Cancer Group (DPCG), to raise awareness of next generation genome screening offered by Merus for eligible patients with a diagnosis of pancreatic adenocarcinoma at all 17 pancreatic cancer centers in the Netherlands, and availability of the eNRGy trial for eligible patients. Erasmus MC, based in Rotterdam, is the largest University Medical Center in the Netherlands and is devoted to providing outstanding care, facilitating world-class education and conducting pioneering research.
  • National Cancer Center (NCC) Japan has agreed to provide RNA sequencing, funded in part by Merus, for eligible patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma and patients with NSCLC to identify NRG1 fusions. Patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma will be directed to the SCRUM-Japan GI-SCREEN program. Patients with NSCLC will be directed to the LC-SCRUM-Asia program. Both programs are part of an Asian genome screening platform operating within institutions participating in the GI-SCREEN and LC-SCRUM-Asia programs, including the NCC Hospital East (NCCHE) and approximately 215 other institutions in Japan, to identify patients with targetable gene alterations for the development of novel targeted therapies. NCC Japan, established in 1962, is a leading medical institution in cancer treatment and research in Japan. NCCHE, established in 1992, is one of the leading specialized cancer hospitals in Japan, treating over 9,000 new patients each year. NCCHE has been promoting the development of innovative cancer medicines and medical devices, including first-in-human trials of new cancer medicines and investigator-initiated trials.

“Merus is supporting a broad molecular screening effort for patients who are not routinely screened for gene mutations,” said Dr. Andrew Joe, Chief Medical Officer of Merus. “Partnering with prestigious academic institutions and national cooperative groups of investigators dedicated to the treatment of cancer is a strategic effort we are undertaking as we seek to advance enrollment in our eNRGy clinical trial to explore the potential for Zeno to become a compelling new treatment option for cancer patients with NRG1 fusions.”

Source: Merus (Press release)