In a big endorsement of Micromet's approach to developing antibodies for cancer, Sanofi-Aventis has signed off on a $475 million deal that starts small but can lead to a series of rich prices for the developer.
In the new pact Micromet will be responsible for developing an antibody that targets an antigen on the surface of carcinoma cells, activating T cells that seek and destroy cancer cells. Micromet will develop the drug candidate through Phase I and then pass it along to Sanofi, which will then be responsible for the research program.
"Micromet's BiTE antibodies represent a promising new approach to treating cancer," declared Marc Cluzel (photo), senior vice-president R&D for Sanofi-Aventis, which has been on a deal-making spree. "We believe BiTE antibodies have the potential to significantly expand the treatment options that we can offer to cancer patients in the future."
Micromet, a 2004 Fierce 15 company with facilities in Bethesda, MD and Munich, gets £8 million on completion of the deal, development and regulatory milestone payments of up to £162 million, royalties on worldwide product sales and performance-based sales milestones of up to £150 million.
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