ImmunoGen Expands Pipeline of Targeted Anticancer Compounds
ImmunoGen, a biopharmaceutical company that develops targeted anticancer therapeutics using its Tumor-Activated Prodrug (TAP) technology, today announced that it has licensed the exclusive right to develop and commercialize a TAP compound to a novel target using an antibody created by Centocor. This license supersedes the previous agreement between the companies.
Under the terms of the agreement announced today, ImmunoGen gains the exclusive right to develop and commercialize a TAP compound that consists of an integrin-targeting antibody developed by Centocor and ImmunoGen's maytansinoid TAP technology. ImmunoGen expects to file an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for this TAP compound, IMGN388, in the second quarter of 2008.
"We're thrilled to be able to expand our product pipeline through this transaction," commented Mitchel Sayare, Chairman and CEO. "IMGN388 makes use of our TAP technology with an antibody that binds to a particularly promising target found on cancer cells. Interestingly, the target can also be found on endothelial cells that are engaged in forming new blood vessels. This process of angiogenesis is a pre-requisite for tumor growth. This collaboration builds on the core competencies of both companies: Centocor is a leader in the development of antibodies, and ImmunoGen has accumulated a wealth of experience in the preclinical and clinical evaluation of TAP compounds."
Centocor has the right to opt-in on IMGN388 at an agreed-upon stage in early clinical testing. Should Centocor exercise this right, ImmunoGen would receive an opt-in fee and be released from its obligation to pay Centocor any milestone payments or royalties on sales. Both companies would contribute to the costs of developing the compound. The two companies would share equally any profits on the sales of the compound in the USA, and ImmunoGen would receive royalties on any international sales.
Should Centocor not exercise this right, ImmunoGen has the right to obtain a new partner for IMGN388, with certain restrictions. Centocor would be entitled to receive milestone payments potentially totaling $30 million, with the first payment due upon the completion of a successful Phase III trial, and also royalties on IMGN388 sales, if any. The companies have agreed to share certain third-party expenses.
About ImmunoGen, Inc.
ImmunoGen, Inc. develops targeted anticancer biopharmaceuticals. The Company's proprietary TAP technology uses tumor-targeting antibodies to deliver a potent cell-killing agent specifically to cancer cells. Two TAP compounds wholly owned by ImmunoGen are in clinical testing - IMGN901 (huN901-DM1) and IMGN242 (huC242-DM4). Three TAP compounds are in clinical testing through ImmunoGen's collaborations with other companies - AVE9633 and SAR3419, in development by sanofi-aventis, and T-DM1 (trastuzumab-DM1), in development by Genentech. Additionally, the naked antibody compound, AVE1642, is in clinical testing through the Company's collaboration with sanofi-aventis. Multiple compounds are in research/preclinical development through ImmunoGen's collaborations and internal programs.