Boehringer Ingelheim and MacroGenics inked a global agreement to discover, develop, and commercialize antibody-based therapeutics that may span multiple areas including immunology, oncology, respiratory, cardiometabolic, and infectious diseases. The drug candidates will be based on MacroGenics’ Dual-Affinity Re-Targeting (DART™) platform and will be directed against up to 10 combinations of molecular targets.
During the first three years of the collaboration, MacroGenics expects to receive about $60 million, which includes an up-front cash payment, annual maintenance fees, R&D funding, and near-term research-based milestones. Boehringer Ingelheim also expects to make an equity investment in MacroGenics sometime in the future.
In addition, MacroGenics may be eligible to receive development, regulatory, and commercial milestone fees of up to $210 million for each of the 10 DART programs in case of full commercial success of multiple DART products. MacroGenics may also receive tiered royalties on net product sales, with an option to co-promote certain DART products in the U.S.
“This alliance represents the largest external commitment to our DART platform to date and the latest validation of our ongoing efforts,” points out Scott Koenig, M.D., Ph.D., MacroGenics’ president and CEO.
Both companies will share responsibility for discovery and certain preclinical activities. Boehringer Ingelheim will have sole responsibility for all subsequent preclinical, clinical, regulatory, commercial, and manufacturing activities for any DART-based product resulting from the collaboration.
The DART platform is a bispecific antibody technology that enables the generation of stable antibody-based therapeutic molecules that can simultaneously target two antigens. DART therapeutics can accommodate virtually any variable region sequence in a “plug-and-play” fashion and have very favorable manufacturing properties, according to MacroGenics.
DART proteins are available in both bacterial and mammalian expression systems. DARTs have also been engineered with an Fc domain, which confers them with additional properties such as Fc receptor binding and extended half-life.
MacroGenics’ in-house DART development comprises programs at the preclinical stage for inflammatory diseases and solid tumors. The inflammation disease program is funded by an NIH grant awarded this year. It targets B lymphocytes with the potential to treat a broad range of autoimmune diseases including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and other disorders.