Bayer HealthCare said today it signed a master agreement to carry out clinical trials with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The value of the three-year collaboration was not disclosed.
The partners said their collaboration was designed to bring new cancer treatments to patients by bolstering ongoing and future collaborative clinical programs in oncology, drawing upon MD Anderson’s top-tier cancer patient care, research, education, and prevention efforts as well as Bayer HealthCare’s growing oncology franchise.
In May, Bayer HealthCare and Algeta won FDA approval for their advanced prostate cancer drug Xofigo® (radium Ra 223 dichloride). The companies agreed to co-promote Xofigo in the United States, with Bayer holding exclusive marketing rights for the rest of the world. Just last month, Algeta confirmed it received a “preliminary acquisition proposal” from Bayer worth NOK 14.8 billion ($2.7 billion).
Also during 2013, Bayer bought worldwide rights to Seattle Genetics’ auristatin-based antibody-drug conjugate technology, with antibodies to several oncology targets, for $20 million in up-front and option exercise fees. The deal could also fetch Seattle Genetics up to about $500 million in payments tied to undisclosed milestones, and royalties.
Additionally, Bayer HealthCare agreed to collaborate with Compugen on preclinical research toward antibody-based cancer immunotherapies against two potential immune checkpoint targets discovered by Compugen, in a deal that could generate more than $540 million for Compugen.
Bayer HealthCare’s latest collaboration with MD Anderson will explore specific treatment approaches for various tumors, including such common types of cancer as prostate, colorectal, and breast cancer, as well as rarer forms like kidney, liver, and thyroid cancer, the partners said.
Under their agreement, Bayer HealthCare and MD Anderson have formed a joint committee comprising clinicians and scientists from the company’s sites in Berlin and Whippany, NJ, as well as from MD Anderson to plan and conduct clinical trials with investigational anti-cancer agents developed by Bayer HealthCare.
"The partnership will bring together thought-leading scientists who will focus on improving the understanding of the biological mechanism of cancer to help identify patients who are likely to respond to specific treatments," Kemal Malik, M.D., head of global development, Bayer HealthCare, said in a statement.
The new partnership with MD Anderson is among efforts by Bayer HealthCare to expand its collaborative relationships with academia and life science firms worldwide, the company added.