Immunotherapy-specialist Hookipa Pharma (NSDQ:HOOK) has announced a clinical collaboration and supply agreement with Merck (NYSE:MRK). Hookipa will test its immunotherapeutic HB-200 in conjunction with Merck’s blockbuster anti-PD-1 therapy, Keytruda (pembrolizumab), as first-line treatment for patients with advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).
“There remains considerable unmet treatment need for people with metastatic head and neck cancers, and we believe the combination of HB-200 and Keytruda may offer hope,” said Joern Aldag, Hookipa CEO, in a statement.
Hookipa reports that the company has seen early success with combining Keytruda and HB-200 in heavily pre-treated patients.
The company plans on launching a Phase 2 trialing the combination of HB-200 with Keytruda in 2022.
The company is developing a range of novel arenaviral immunotherapies for oncology and infectious diseases.
After announcing the Merck collaboration, HOOK shares ticked up 1.37% apiece to $6.30.