Micromet is buying out MedImmune’s option to blinatumomab in North America and is terminating their collaboration, which began in 2003. Micromet also regains MedImmune’s rights to any other bi-specific T-cell engager (BiTE) antibodies binding to antigens relevant for hematological cancers that had been reserved for MedImmune under the original agreement.
In March MedImmune returned the North American rights to develop and commercialize blinatumumab but retained an option to reacquire the right to commercialize the molecule in this region. By terminating the agreement, Micromet now controls global rights to develop and commercialize blinatumomab.
Micromet will pay an up-front fee as well as milestones related to development and royalties on North American net sales of blinatumomab. The original deal called for Micromet to receive development, filing, registration, and marketing success-based payments as well as royalties on MedImmune's North American sales of the product.
In June 2003, when the original deal was signed, blinatumomab was Micromet’s most advanced BiTE antibody. Since then the drug has advanced into a Phase II trial in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and a Phase I study in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Micromet intends to initiate a late-stage trial in ALL next year.
Blinatumomab targets the CD19 surface antigen, which is specific for B cells. The therapy has orphan drug designation for chronic lymphocytic leukemia and mantle cell lymphoma.