Dragonfly gets Merck on second TriNKET candidate since 2018 collab



Dragonfly Therapeutics is doing better and better in getting Big Pharma on its TriNKET platform. First Celgene, then BMS, and now Merck — again.


After Merck licensed its first candidate from the platform back in November 2020, the pharma giant is back for seconds as part of a 2018 collaboration between the two companies, which was initially focused on a number of solid tumor targets.


The companies expanded their collaboration last year with an agreement to develop and commercialize NK cell engaging immunotherapies for multiple targets in oncology, infectious diseases and immune disorders.


“We are delighted that Merck has now exercised its option for this second immunotherapy candidate from our initial collaboration, and excited by the progress we are making together on bringing Dragonfly’s TriNKET technology to targets across a broader set of diseases,” said Dragonfly’s CEO Bill Haney.


Merck exercised its option to license exclusive worldwide intellectual property rights on its second immunotherapy candidate developed using the TriNKET platform, under a pre-existing agreement. As for Dragonfly, it received an payment from Merck at an undisclosed amount.