BIND Therapeutics today said it entered into a collaboration with Pfizer to develop and commercialize a new class of highly selective targeted and programmable therapeutics called Accurins™ using select molecularly targeted therapies, in a deal that could exceed $210 million.

Pfizer will employ BIND’s Medicinal Nanoengineering® platform to impart tissue and cellular targeting capabilities to molecularly targeted drugs. In return, BIND could receive $50 million in combined up-front and development milestone payments, plus about $160 million in regulatory and sales milestone payments for each Accurin commercialized, as well as tiered royalties on potential future sales.

Under the partnership, both companies will work together on preclinical research, while Pfizer will hold the exclusive option to pursue development and commercialization of the Accurins it selects.

“The power of this partnership is taking Pfizer molecules that they’ve developed and have characterized activity, and combining them with the BIND platform. What this enables us to do is get now three levels of targeting,” Scott Minick, BIND’s president and CEO, told GEN. The three are tissue targeting, cell targeting, and molecular targeting using Pfizer’s molecules.

Minick said he could not discuss which disease areas the collaboration will focus on. Accurin technology has shown effectiveness in internal research, he said, against inflammatory diseases and cancer, where vascular irregularity and permeability allow particles to escape the blood vessels, as well as against cardiovascular diseases, since the Accurins can bind to targets on blood vessels or plaque formations.

BIND’s targeted Accurins consist of:

  • Targeting ligands that recognize specific disease-associated cell-surface proteins or receptors, enabling Accurins to accumulate at their intended site of action.
  • A stealth and protective layer that shields targeted nanoparticles from immune surveillance, while providing attachment sites for the targeting ligands.
  • Therapeutic payloads or active pharmaceutical ingredients such as small molecules, peptides, proteins, and nucleic acids such as siRNA and mRNA.
  • Controlled-release polymers that encapsulate the API in a matrix of programmable polymers customized to allow payload release specific to each application.

“Essentially, our nanoparticles give the appearance to the immune system of just being a tiny water droplet, so they avoid immune detection and clearance. That’s what gives us very long circulation time,” Minick said.

Nanoparticles can vary by size, disease being targeted, method of adhesion, and numerous other parameters, he added: “There could be hundreds of different combinations and permutations of those characteristics. Then we screen them to find out which has the optimal therapeutic properties.”

BIND’s lead Accurin, BIND-014, is entering Phase II clinical testing in cancer patients. BIND-014 is designed to selectively target a surface protein upregulated in a broad range of solid tumors.

The Pfizer collaboration marks the second major partnership between BIND and a biopharma giant focused on applying its nanomedicine technology to molecularly targeted therapies. On January 8, BIND and Amgen said they would collaborate to develop an Accurin to treat a range of solid tumors, based on BIND’s platform and Amgen’s undisclosed proprietary kinase inhibitor.

The Amgen collaboration could net BIND more than $180.5 million—$46.5 million in up-front and development milestone payments, plus up to an additional $134 million in regulatory and sales milestone payments for the first therapeutic indication, with potential for more payments. BIND will also receive tiered royalties on potential future sales.

BIND—which yesterday changed its name from BIND Biosciences and named oncology veteran Gregory I. Berk, M.D. as CMO—was founded on technologies developed by Robert Langer, Sc.D., David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT, and Omid Farokhzad, M.D., associate professor of Harvard Medical School. 

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