Evoq pens $240M Amgen pact for next-gen autoimmune meds

(Business Wire)

Amgen has penned a deal worth $240 million-plus with biotech Evoq Therapeutics as it looks to the future for autoimmune research.

Looking to bolster the success of its own autoimmune offerings in the form of Otezla, Enbrel and its growing biosimilar products, Amgen is seeking the next generation of therapies for this highly lucrative disease area.

To help with this, Amgen is tapping Michigan-based Evoq, a spinoff from the University of Michigan, and its early-stage preclinical program in autoimmune disease. Amgen will be on the hook for $240 million-plus, as well as sales royalties, although this wasn’t broken down and no upfront figure was cited.

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Under the deal, announced through a brief statement, Amgen will be responsible for clinical development and selling any med or meds that might come out of the pact.  

The biotech’s technology revolves around “nanodiscs,” which are tiny, synthetic, high-density lipoproteins that are loaded up with genetic material from individual patients. The company say these discs have been optimized to deliver antigens for recognition by the immune system.