Micromet will receive €5 million up front in cash from Boehringer Ingelheim (BI), as part of the companies’ global collaboration to develop a BiTE® antibody against multiple myeloma. Under terms of the deal, Micromet retains U.S. co-promotion rights to any relevant product developed. The firm could also earn an additional €50 million in development and regulatory milestones, plus royalties on future sales by BI outside the U.S.
The collaboration will involve BI and Micromet working together on discovery and preclinical development of the myeloma BiTE antibody candidate. BI will then take over worldwide responsibility for clinical development, manufacturing, and commercialization of the product, subject to its partners’ U.S. co-promotion rights. Micromet will also shoulder certain costs associated with preclinical activities.
The focus on myeloma fits in nicely with Micromet’s product-development plans, points out Christian Itin, Ph.D., president and CEO. “In line with the strategic importance of hemato-oncology for Micromet we have retained U.S. co-promotion rights for this product candidate consistent with our goal of building a commercial hematology franchise in the U.S.
Micromet’s single-chain BiTE antibodies are designed to direct and bind cytotoxic T cells to tumor cells, triggering cell death. The BiTE molecules comprise just the small binding domains by which antibodies recognize their antigens on T cells and target cells These domains are then linked together on one polypeptide chain using Micromet's single-chain antibody technology.
Micromet’s existing antibody pipeline includes both traditional and BiTE antibody candidates. The firm’s in-house BiTE pipeline includes a Phase I/II-stage CD19 targeting candidate, blinatumomab (MT103), against non-Hodgkin lymphoma and acute lymphocytic leukemia. An EpCAM-targeting BiTE antibody designated MT110 is in Phase I trials.