Mersana Therapeutics inked an agreement with Millennium Pharmaceuticals, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Takeda Pharmaceutical, to develop next-generation Fleximer® antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs).

According to Mersana, its conjugation technology is comprised of the company’s biodegradable Fleximer polymer and a broad array of customizable linker chemistries. As part of the agreement, Takeda will provide an undisclosed upfront payment to Mersana for the right to utilize Fleximer technology to develop the ADC candidates. Mersana is responsible for conducting research and creating ADCs that are conjugates of Takeda’s antibodies and Mersana’s diverse payload platforms, which combine a cytotoxic payload with the Fleximer polymer and custom linkers.

In addition to providing antibodies, Takeda is responsible for product development, manufacturing and commercialization of any Fleximer-ADC products. Mersana is also eligible to receive milestones and royalties on worldwide net sales of any resulting ADC products.

“Mersana's unique approach to ADCs allows a wide variety of antibody and payload combinations to be investigated,” said Christopher Claiborne, Ph.D., head of the oncology drug discovery unit at Takeda. “We believe that working with Mersana and investigating Fleximer-ADCs in oncology, one of Takeda’s core therapeutic areas, will strengthen our leadership and experience in developing and bringing innovative ADC therapeutics to patients worldwide.”

“Mersana’s proprietary Fleximer technology offers a new and highly differentiated approach to creating ADC therapeutics, and we look forward to working with Takeda to develop novel Fleximer-ADC candidates,” said Eva M. Jack, Mersana’s CBO.

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