Sanofi-aventis and US Biopharmaceutical Company Micromet Sign Global Collaboration and License Agreement for New Solid Tumor BiTE Antibody
Paris, France - October 29, 2009 - Sanofi-aventis (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY) and Micromet,Inc. (Nasdaq: MITI) announced today a global collaboration and license agreement to develop a BiTE® antibody against an antigen present at the surface of carcinoma cells. BiTE antibodies are novel therapeutic antibodies that activate patients' T cells to seek out and destroy cancer cells.
Under this agreement, Micromet will be mainly responsible for the discovery, research and development of the BiTE antibody through the completion of phase 1 clinical trials under the supervision of a Joint Steering Committee. Sanofi-aventis will then have the full responsibility for the further development, as well as for the worldwide commercialization of the BiTE antibody.
"Micromet's BiTE antibodies represent a promising new approach to treating cancer," declared Marc Cluzel, Senior Vice-President R&D, sanofi-aventis. "We believe BiTE antibodies have the potential to significantly expand the treatment options that we can offer to cancer patients in the future."
"We are very pleased to start a new BiTE antibody program with sanofi-aventis," said Christian Itin, Micromet's Chief Executive Officer. "As we continue to make progress in the clinical development of our BiTE antibodies for hematological cancers and solid tumors, this collaboration with sanofi-aventis further validates the BiTE antibody technology and creates the opportunity to expand the pipeline of BiTE antibodies for the treatment of solid tumors."
Under the terms of the agreement, sanofi-aventis agreed to pay Micromet an upfront cash payment of 8 million euros following signature of the agreement. Micromet is eligible for development and regulatory milestone payments of up to 162 million euros, royalties on worldwide product sales and will receive additional performance-based sales milestones of up to 150 million euros.
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.
Read more: http://www.pharmiweb.com/pressreleases/pressrel.asp?ROW_ID=9544#ixzz0VKhp7RTf