Bind shares slide after Amgen walks out of $180M collaboration deal

Bind CEO Scott Minick

Amgen ($AMGN) has bowed out of a $180 million collaboration with Cambridge, MA-based Bind Therapeutics, ending work on a new therapy for solid tumors by amping up an Amgen drug with the biotech's nanoengineering technology. News of the research setback--which ends the first big pact inked for the biotech's delivery tech--took a bite out of Bind's shares ($BIND), sending its stock down by more than 10%.

Amgen's deal helped establish Bind's rep, blazing a trail that has also led to collaborations with AstraZeneca ($AZN), Pfizer ($PFE) and Roche ($RHHBY). Launched in early 2013, Bind had set out to make one of its Accurins with the undisclosed kinase inhibitor from Amgen--just as it plans to do with its own in-house program for docetaxel.

"The goal of this research collaboration was to optimize a specific therapeutic payload from Amgen. Despite achieving the objective of high tumor concentrations, the results were not sufficiently compelling to proceed forward and both collaborators have agreed that the program will not be continued," said Bind CEO Scott Minick in a statement. Bind also had an option to carry on with the work itself using the Amgen drug, but opted against pressing forward alone.

Bind--a 2008 Fierce 15 company--has been building on the insights of MIT's Robert Langer and Harvard's Omid Farokhzad on the use of polymers in drug delivery. Accurins are designed to more precisely deliver therapeutics to their target, an approach that allows for using bigger payloads of a cancer drug to more completely eviscerate its target. That kind of an approach marries well with existing therapies, though Amgen clearly didn't see what it was hoping for.

Amgen paid an undisclosed down payment in the deal, which included $46.5 million in upfront and development milestones. Bind also stood to rake in a total of $134 million in regulatory and sales milestones in the deal.

- here's the release