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Oct 17, 2007

ImmunoGen Earns $1M Milestone with Start of Cancer Clinical Trial

  • Sanofi-aventis advanced ImmunoGen’s anticancer compound into Phase I  testing triggering a $1 million milestone payment.

    ImmunoGen’s TAP compound, SAR3419, is being investigated as a treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other B-cell malignancies. The candidate was licensed to sanofi-aventis as part of their December 2006 agreement.

    “SAR3419 is the third product candidate to enter clinical testing through our collaboration with sanofi-aventis,” explains Mitchel Sayare, chairman and CEO of ImmunoGen. For each compound in this collaboration, the company says that it is entitled to receive milestone payments that could total $21.5 million to $30 million plus royalties.

    ImmunoGen also receives manufacturing payments for preclinical and initial clinical materials made on behalf of sanofi-aventis and has certain copromotion rights.

    “In total, there are now five TAP compounds in clinical testing through our own programs and those of our collaborators, and two of these advanced into Phase II evaluation this summer,” adds Sayare. “We expect another one to three TAP compounds to enter the clinic by the end of our fiscal year in June 2008.”

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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