eFFECTOR Collaborates with Pfizer and Merck on Immuno-Oncology

eFFECTOR Therapeutics announced today it has entered into a clinical collaboration and supply agreement with Pfizer and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, to evaluate the combination of two immuno-oncology agents in patients with microsatellite stable colorectal cancer (CRC). The companies plan to initiate a Phase 2 open-label, randomized, non-comparative study to evaluate the safety, tolerability and efficacy of eFFECTOR's investigational small molecule MNK1/2 inhibitor, eFT508, in combination with avelumab* in microsatellite stable relapsed or refractory CRC patients. Avelumab is currently under clinical evaluation across a broad range of tumor types by the global strategic alliance between Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, which in the US and Canada operates as EMD Serono, and Pfizer. The study will also include a monotherapy arm investigating eFT508 alone. Patients will be randomized 2:1 between the combination arm and the monotherapy arm.

"We believe eFT508, our lead program, is a promising new immuno-oncology drug candidate that could significantly improve patient response in combination with checkpoint inhibitors," said Steve Worland, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of eFFECTOR. "We are very pleased to be working with Pfizer and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, given their demonstrated commitment to develop avelumab as a leading checkpoint inhibitor and their deep knowledge in the field of immuno-oncology."

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