The first two Merck compounds include a kinesin spindle protein (KSP) inhibitor and a polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) inhibitor. Both KSP and PLK1 are regulators of cellular mitosis and are considered essential to the proliferation of cancer cells. These pathways have proven difficult to target effectively using conventional agents due to therapeutic index limitations.
"This is an exciting and unique collaboration for BIND as it provides us with novel proprietary payloads to develop as Accurin product candidates for our internal pipeline," said Scott Minick, Chief Executive Officer of BIND Therapeutics. "The structure of this agreement marks an advancement in our collaboration approach and demonstrates the strength of our leadership position in the field of nanomedicine."
"We are pleased to collaborate with BIND Therapeutics to expand Merck's active oncology discovery programs," said Dr. Eric Rubin, vice president, clinical oncology, Merck Research Laboratories. "Merck is focused on exploring immuno-oncology and other promising pathways, and we look forward to combining compounds from our oncology portfolio with BIND's nanomedicine technology platform."
Under the terms of the agreement, BIND will apply its Medicinal Nanoengineering® platform to develop targeted Accurins based initially on Merck-supplied investigational KSP and PLK1 inhibitors. The agreement also includes the option to incorporate additional Merck compounds in the future. BIND will fund and conduct research and development activities to advance Accurin product candidates based on these agents through first-in-human clinical studies, after which Merck and BIND will alternate in choosing whether or not to further develop and commercialize the Accurin products. If BIND opts in, in most scenarios there will be no payments made to Merck beyond a royalty on future product sales. If Merck opts in, it will pay BIND a fee based on a multiple of BIND's research and development expenses, plus a royalty on future product sales. Further terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
About BIND Therapeutics
BIND Therapeutics is a clinical-stage nanomedicine platform company developing Accurins, its novel targeted therapeutics. BIND is leveraging its Medicinal Nanoengineering® platform to develop a pipeline of Accurins, initially in oncology, as well as Accurins in collaboration with biopharmaceutical companies. BIND's lead drug candidate, BIND-014, is an Accurin that targets PSMA and contains docetaxel, a clinically-validated and widely used cancer chemotherapy drug. BIND-014 is currently in Phase 2 clinical trials for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer and metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer.
BIND has announced ongoing collaborations with Pfizer Inc., AstraZeneca AB, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. and Merck & Co. to develop Accurins based on their proprietary therapeutic payloads and targeting ligands. BIND's platform originated from the pioneering nanotechnology research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School of BIND's scientific founders Dr. Robert Langer and Dr. Omid Farokhzad. For more information, please visit the Company's web site at www.bindtherapeutics.com.