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Merus declares positive Phase II data for head and neck cancer antibody

Merus's bispecific antibody petosemtamab targets both epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein coupled receptor 5 (LGR5). Among the abstracts announced for the upcoming American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, positive data emerged from a Phase II trial conducted by Netherlands-based Merus.

Merus will present findings from a Phase II study assessing petosemtamab in combination with Merck & Co's PD-1 inhibitor Keytruda (pembrolizumab) as a first-line treatment for metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).

As of the November data cutoff, 10 patients were evaluated for efficacy, resulting in one complete response, five partial responses, and three cases of stable disease, with only one patient showing no response to treatment. Among the 26 patients enrolled by the cutoff, the regimen exhibited a favorable safety profile, with no significant overlapping toxicities noted by the investigators. Updated findings will be presented on June 3 at ASCO 2024.