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Jul 31, 2007

ImmunoGen Earns $5M Milestone through Deal with Genentech

  • Genentech has initiated Phase II testing of trastuzumab-DM1 in HER2-expressing metastatic breast cancer, triggering a $5-million milestone payment to Immunogen. The product comprises ImmunoGen's cell-killing agent, DM1, linked to Genentech's HER2-targeting antibody, trastuzumab.

    The 2000 transaction between the companies gave Genentech exclusive rights to develop candidates using ImmunoGen's maytansinoid Tumor-Activated Prodrug (TAP) technology and linkers with therapeutic antibodies to HER2. In 2006, the agreement was amended such that ImmunoGen would earn increased milestone payments. Genentech is responsible for product development, manufacturing, and commercialization.

    ImmunoGen created its TAP technology to enhance the anticancer activity of tumor-targeting mAbs. The tool attaches one of its cell-killing agents, DM1 or DM4, to an anticancer antibody using a linker.

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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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