Micromet and Amgen entered a deal under which Micromet will work to discover antibodies against three undisclosed tumor targets from Amgen. Micromet will leverage its BiTE technology, and Amgen will have the right to pursue development and commercialization of compounds for up to two of these targets.
Under the terms of the agreement, Amgen is expected to pay €10 million upon deal execution. If milestones in multiple indications and tumor types are achieved, Micromet is eligible to receive up to €342 million in clinical and commercial milestone payments. Micromet could also earn up to double-digit royalties on worldwide net sales.
For the second BiTE program, Micromet is eligible to receive an additional cash payment upon initiation of the program, milestones, royalties, and development funding comparable to the first program. The combined potential payments to Micromet from both programs, excluding reimbursement of R&D costs, could reach approximately €695 million.
The initial development plan contemplates €25 million in funding of Micromet R&D activities if two BiTE antibodies are advanced to IND. All expected costs associated with the research, development, and commercialization of the BiTE antibodies will be borne by Amgen.
Micromet will be primarily responsible for the discovery and preclinical development of the BiTE antibodies. Amgen will lead the clinical development, manufacturing, and commercialization of any products resulting from the collaboration.
BiTE antibodies are designed to direct the body's cytotoxic T cells against tumor cells. In the presence of BiTE antibodies, T cells have been demonstrated to serially eliminate tumor cells, which explains the activity of BiTE antibodies at very low concentrations. Through the killing process, T cells start to proliferate, which leads to an increased number of T cells at the site of attack.
Micromet’s lead candidate, blinatumomab (MT103), is currently the subject of a European pivotal trial in patients with minimal residual disease positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Micromet has collaborations with a number of companies including Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, Boehringer Ingelheim, MedImmune, Merck Serono, Nycomed, and Sanofi.