Bayer Schering Exercises Option to Develop Solid Tumor BiTE Antibody with Micromet
BETHESDA, MD, December 1, 2009 -- Micromet, Inc. (Nasdaq: MITI), a biopharmaceutical company developing novel, proprietary antibodies for the treatment of cancer, inflammation and autoimmune diseases today announced that Bayer Schering Pharma AG has exercised its option under the option, collaboration and license agreement entered into on January 12, 2009 to develop a new BiTE antibody for the treatment of solid tumors.
Under the terms of the agreement, Bayer Schering Pharma had an option until January 5, 2010 to license a specific BiTE antibody targeting an undisclosed target. The option exercise triggers a formal collaboration between Micromet and Bayer Schering Pharma on the development of the BiTE antibody. Micromet will be primarily responsible for the preclinical development of the BiTE antibody, and will collaborate with Bayer through the completion of phase 1 clinical trials, at which point Bayer Schering Pharma will assume full control of the further development and commercialization of the BiTE antibody. Micromet will receive an option exercise fee of Euro 5 million (approx. $7.5 million), and is eligible for further milestone payments of up to Euro 285 million (approx. $426 million) in total and up to double digit royalties on net sales of the BiTE antibody. In addition, Micromet will be reimbursed for its R&D expenses.
"BiTE antibodies represent a promising approach to cancer therapy," said Dr. Karl Ziegelbauer, Head Therapeutic Research Oncology of Bayer Schering Pharma AG. "We are pleased with the progress of the program since the signing of the agreement in January of this year. We are looking forward to developing a new treatment for patients with solid tumors and to further advance novel therapeutic options in our oncology portfolio."
Jens Hennecke, Micromet's Senior Vice President for Business Development added: "Our research and preclinical development teams have done an excellent job in advancing the program since January of this year. Bayer Schering Pharma's early option exercise is a recognition of Micromet's development capabilities and confirms the promise of our BiTE antibody platform."
About BiTE Antibodies
BiTE® antibodies are designed to direct the body's cytotoxic, or cell-destroying, T cells against tumor cells, and represent a new therapeutic approach to cancer therapy. Typically, antibodies cannot engage T cells because T cells lack the appropriate receptors for binding antibodies. BiTE antibodies have been shown to bind T cells to tumor cells, ultimately inducing a self-destruction process in the tumor cells referred to as apoptosis, or programmed cell death. In the presence of BiTE antibodies, T cells have been demonstrated to serially eliminate tumor cells, which explains the activity of BiTE antibodies at very low concentrations. Through the killing process, T cells start to proliferate, which leads to an increased number of T cells at the site of attack.
About Micromet, Inc.
Micromet, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel, proprietary antibodies for the treatment of cancer, inflammation and autoimmune diseases. Its product development pipeline includes novel antibodies generated with its proprietary BiTE® antibody platform, as well as conventional monoclonal antibodies. Two of Micromet's BiTE antibodies and three of its conventional antibodies are currently in clinical trials. Micromet's preclinical product pipeline includes several novel BiTE antibodies generated with its proprietary BiTE antibody platform technology. Micromet's collaboration partners include sanofi-aventis, Bayer Schering Pharma, Merck Serono, MedImmune and Nycomed.
This release contains certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to be materially different from historical results or from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include statements regarding the operation of the global collaboration with Bayer Schering Pharma, the efficacy, safety and intended utilization of our product candidates, including the BiTE antibody that is the subject of the agreement with Bayer Schering Pharma, the mode of action of BiTE antibodies, the conduct, timing and results of future clinical trials, expectations of the future expansion of our product pipeline and collaborations, and the future payment of milestone and royalty payments by Bayer Schering Pharma. You are urged to consider statements that include the words "ongoing," "may," "will," "believes," "potential," "expects," "plans," "anticipates," "intends," or the negative of those words or other similar words to be uncertain and forward-looking. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from any future results expressed or implied by any forward-looking statements include the risk that product candidates that appeared promising in early research, preclinical studies or clinical trials do not demonstrate safety and/or efficacy in subsequent clinical trials, the risk that encouraging results from early research, preclinical studies or clinical trials may not be confirmed upon further analysis of the detailed results of such research, preclinical study or clinical trial, the risk that additional information relating to the safety, efficacy or tolerability of our product candidates may be discovered upon further analysis of preclinical or clinical trial data, the risk that we or our collaborators will not obtain approval to market our product candidates, the risks associated with reliance on outside financing to meet capital requirements, and the risks associated with reliance on collaborators and licensees, including Bayer Schering Pharma, sanofi-aventis, MedImmune, Merck Serono, TRACON and Nycomed, for the funding or conduct of further development and commercialization activities relating to our product candidates. These factors and others are more fully discussed in Micromet's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended September 30, 2009, filed with the SEC on November 6, 2009, as well as other filings by the company with the SEC.