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Merus attracts $200M in funding from Incyte

Merus NV said it attracted $200 million in funding from biotechnology major Incyte Corp. in exchange for rights to some of its cancer treatments.

Incyte is purchasing 3.2 million Merus shares at $25 apiece for an equity investment of $80 million and will pay a further $120 million to gain access to 11 of the company's bispecific antibody research programs, including two that are in development.

Merus is retaining the rights to one of the antibodies being developed for the U.S.; the company will pay Incyte between 6% to 10% in royalties on net sales and vice versa for sales outside the U.S.

Merus can also co-fund up to 35% of the global development costs for two other programs in exchange for a 50% share of U.S. profits and losses, and royalties on sales outside the country.

Incyte will independently fund the remaining programs, leaving Merus with the option to earn up to $2.8 billion in milestone-related payments, as well as royalties on global sales of any approved products under the programs.

Merus expects to close the deal in the first quarter of 2017.