Intrexon inks collaboration with Merck Serono
BOSTON & GERMANTOWN, Md.—A new global collaboration announced between Intrexon Corp. and Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA in Darmstadt, Germany, is expected to boost the oncology programs of both Intrexon and ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc. The collaboration will focus exclusively on novel chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) products, and Intrexon will share the upfront payment, milestones and royalties equally with ZIOPHARM. Per the agreement, Merck Serono will select and provide certain research funding for two CAR-T targets initially, and given its agreement with Intrexon, ZIOPHARM will be responsible for any further research and development expenses. Once the selected candidates reach IND stage, they will be transferred to Merck Serono for clinical development and commercialization. ZIOPHARM and Intrexon will conduct research and development on other CAR-T candidates independently, and Merck will have the opportunity to opt in during clinical development.