Founded in 2020, Scorpion is agnostic about the potential therapies and targets it will explore with what it describes as its drug-hunting engine. But the company is hoping to unveil its first drug candidate this year.
The San Francisco-based company aims to complete at least one Phase III study by 2025, and it is weighing an IPO next year to fund more.
The deal will broaden Merck’s oncology portfolio as it picks up an antibody-drug conjugate, a class of biological drugs that target tumor cells even as the pharma giant jettisons other parts of its business
The company is currently running a Phase I study of its lead candidate, the antibody-drug conjugate VLS-101, in patients with lymphomas and leukemias. It has two additional antibody-drug conjugates and a bispecific antibody in preclinical development.