European Patent Office Dismisses Arguments by RegeneronFavorable Rulings Further Strengthen IP Estate in Europe and Japan through 2029 UTRECHT, The Netherlands, Nov. 15, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Merus N.V. (NASDAQ:MRUS), a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company developing innovative bispecific antibody therapeutics, today announced that it received two favorable rulings for its European patent EP 2147594 B1 (the "'594 patent") by the Opposition Division of the European Patent Office (the "EPO") as well by the Trial Board of the Japanese Patent Office for its Japanese counterpart JP 5749161 (the "'161 patent"). Both patents cover Merus' genetically-modified mice and their use to produce common light chain human monoclonal antibodies. "We are very pleased by these positive rulings for Merus' common light chain mouse patents in Europe and Japan which we believe are a testament to the strength of our intellectual property estate and provide us with sufficient protection through 2029," said Ton Logtenberg, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Merus. "These favorable rulings reflect the unique attributes of our proprietary Biclonics® bispecific antibody technology platform that we believe has broad applicability in the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and other serious medical conditions." In Europe, the Opposition Division of the EPO upheld without amendment the '594 patent in oral proceedings held in The Hague on October 28, 2016. The claims of the '594 patent cover methods of obtaining common light chain human monoclonal antibodies from genetically-modified mice that comprise in their genome a human rearranged immunoglobulin light chain variable region. In Japan, the Trial Board of the Japanese Patent Office upheld the '161 patent with minimal amendments. The claims of the '161 patent are similar to those of the '594 patent. Both the European Opposition Division and the Japanese Trial Board dismissed arguments brought by Regeneron (NASDAQ:REGN) that the patent lacked novelty and inventive step. In both territories, the decision is open to appeal.