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  • Collaboration to accelerate development and manufacturing of Bispecific Antibody
  • Merck plans to offer Phanes a full suite of products and services under its BioReliance® offering

Shanghai, China, July 24, 2019 - Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced the signing of a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Phanes Therapeutics, Inc. (Phanes) for a collaboration on the development and manufacture of biologics for the treatment of solid tumors.

“China is a key market for Merck, and we are seeing increased demand for end-to-end process development solutions,” said Udit Batra, member of the Merck Executive Board and CEO, Life Science. “We look forward to supporting our customers who are accelerating research and development and commercializing new therapies.”

The parties envision that under the alliance, Merck would provide its BioReliance® End-to-End Solutions to Phanes, including cell line development, process development and GMP manufacturing up to commercialization. This includes the development and manufacturing of a Bispecific Antibody, an asset discovered with Phanes’ proprietary bispecific antibody platform which can simultaneously bind to two different targets or antigens on cancer cells, allowing the treatment of solid tumors.

With more than 30 years’ experience in process development and a global network of technical experts, Merck's end-to-end team in Shanghai will be able to work seamlessly with their global organization to ensure a quick and smooth project start. Merck’s BioReliance® End-to-End Solutions address key challenges for biopharmaceutical companies at all stages of molecule development and commercialization in any geography.

“As an innovative drug discovery company with a robust pipeline, we are looking for reliable partners with top notch caliber and manufacturing capabilities to quickly advance our premium molecules," said Dr. Ming Wang, CEO of Phanes. "We are very excited for the opportunity to partner with Merck to advance our leading assets in the chemical manufacturing control stage. Merck has a long and excellent track record in helping their global clients deliver high-quality materials for preclinical development and initiation of phase 1 studies. This collaboration will provide us access to Merck’s global capabilities and high-quality systems, allowing us to continue to focus on what we do best at — building innovation in research. We look forward to a productive partnership.”

Merck works side-by-side with biopharma customers on global clinical drug development and scaling processes at local production facilities. Additionally, the company has longstanding expertise in helping biopharma customers design and implement a full manufacturing process at their facilities or at Merck’s own sites in Martillac, France; Burlington, Massachusetts, USA and Shanghai, China.

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About Phanes Therapeutics

Phanes Therapeutics is an innovative drug discovery company focusing on oncology and eye diseases with multiple first-in-class and best-in-class molecules in its pipeline. It was founded in 2016 by former Janssen/J&J Vice President Ming Wang, PhD, MBA. Phanes’ R&D centers are operating in San Diego, California and Guangdong, China. For more information on Phanes, please visit www.phanesthera.com.

About Merck

Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 52,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene- editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – Merck is everywhere. In 2018, Merck generated sales of €14.8 billion in 66 countries.

Scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to Merck’s technological and scientific advances. This is how Merck has thrived since its founding in 1668. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. Merck holds the global rights to the “Merck” name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Performance Materials.