Close to two years after Celgene closed its first development deal with Sutro Biopharma, the prolific partnering machine at the big biotech has come back and taken an option on buying the company and its antibody-drug conjugates and bispecifics. And Celgene is expanding their collaboration to include immuno-oncology drugs, the hottest R&D field in biotech.
Sutro Biopharma has landed another marquee name for its list of development partners for antibody-drug conjugates. Merck KGaA, which has been struggling in the clinic for years, has signed on with the San Francisco-based biotech, offering a $300 million package of milestones along with some unspecified research support.
There used to be a legal specialty built by plaintiff attorneys around filing lawsuits against antidepressant makers and then settling them. But the black box warning put on antidepressants in 2004 has turned out to be a shroud for the once lucrative legal business.
Amgen, Celgene and Eli Lilly joined forces with some prominent venture players to back a $26 million round for Sutro Biopharma, a San Francisco-based biotech which has been garnering some careful scrutiny for its work on antibodies.
ImmunGene is working to get its lead armed-antibody cancer treatment from the lab to the clinic, and now the California company has $9 million in Series A cash to light the way.
ImmunoGen garnered considerable attention for the tech support role it played on Roche's armed antibody Kadcyla. But an attempt to steer one of its own antibody-drug conjugates through clinical studies ended in disaster today.
The rapid success of Roche's breast cancer drug Kadcyla following the breakthrough approval of Seattle Genetics' Adcetris helped make antibody-drug conjugates one of the hottest fields in drug research. And some key manufacturers have been ramping up expanded facilities to help support the growing number of armed antibodies in the pipeline.
Research presented at the International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics this week in Boston could point the way to new therapies to treat pancreatic cancer.
AstraZeneca has struck a deal to buy one antibody-drug conjugate developer for up to $440 million while making a $20 million equity bet on another as it continues a global biotech shopping spree to stock its pipeline of cancer drugs.
Swiss drugmaker Roche has seen explosive growth for drugs like its new breast cancer drug Kadcyla and says it needs a lot more capacity for it and the long list of other biologics in hand or under development. To get that capacity, it will invest nearly $900 million to build a new facility in Switzerland and expand plants in the U.S. and Germany, adding nearly 500 jobs in the process.