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Oct 11, 2013

Novartis Inks Agreement for ImmunoGen's "TAP" ADC Technology

  • Novartis agreed to license ImmunoGen’s Targeted Antibody Payload (TAP) antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology to develop new anticancer therapeutics for an undisclosed target, in a deal that could top $200 million.

    The licensing deal is the second between the companies under a collaboration launched in 2010. For each license, ImmunoGen receives up-front and milestone payments totaling about $200 million, not including royalties. Novartis has responsibility for developing, manufacturing, and marketing any products that result from licensing agreements with ImmunoGen.

    The Novartis collaboration, now in the preclinical phase, gives the pharma giant the right to take a defined number of exclusive, single-target options that provide rights for single-target licenses, on pre-negotiated terms, to specified targets during the respective option periods.

    As of June 30, Novartis had taken one license to two related targets—one on an exclusive basis and one on a nonexclusive basis, according to Immunogen’s most recent quarterly Form 10-Q, filed Aug. 29 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

    ImmunoGen’s TAP technology uses a tumor-targeting engineered antibody to deliver one of the company’s highly potent anticancer agents specifically to tumor cells. TAP uses engineered linkers that keep the payload attached to the antibody while in the bloodstream, then controls its release and activation inside a cancer cell.

    The first product applying ImmunoGen’s TAP technology is the Roche drug Kadcyla® (T-DM1 or ado-trastuzumab emtansine) for patients with HER2-positive, metastatic breast cancer, approved by the FDA in February and marketed in the United States by Roche subsidiary Genentech.

    ImmunoGen said it has four wholly owned clinical-stage product candidates and additional compounds in clinical phases through collaborations with Amgen, Bayer HealthCare, Biotest, and Sanofi.

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