ImmunoGen, Inc. announced on Monday 10/11 that it has entered into a collaboration agreement with Novartis to discover and develop targeted anticancer therapeutics using antibodies to several antigen targets to be named by Novartis.
Novartis will pay a $45 million upfront fee to ImmunoGen for exclusive rights to the Targeted Antibody Payload (TAP) technology with antibodies to a specified number of antigen targets. ImmunoGen is also entitled to receive milestone payments plus royalties on product sales for each target resulting in an anticancer therapeutic.
A TAP compound consists of a tumor-targeting manufactured antibody with one of ImmunoGen’s proprietary, highly potent cancer killing agents attached as a payload. The antibody serves to deliver the payload specifically to tumor cells, and the payload serves to kill these cells. Essentially it is as if a bomb is sent into the tumor, and explodes inside, killing the cancer cells, but preserving the surrounding tissue. The objective is more targeted delivery of chemotherapy and subsequently lower side effects. Described in a different way, the Company's proprietary TAP, technology combines extremely potent small molecule cytotoxic agents with monoclonal antibodies that bind specifically to cancer cells. The Company's TAP technology is designed to increase the potency of tumor-targeting antibodies and kill cancer cells with only modest damage to healthy tissue.
There are currently seven TAP compounds in the clinic, with a wealth of clinical data reported with the technology. ImmunoGen collaborative partners include Amgen, Bayer Schering Pharma, Biogen Idec, Biotest, Genentech (a member of the Roche Group), Sanofi-Aventis, and now Novartis. The most advanced compound using ImmunoGen's TAP technology, T-DM1, is in Phase III testing through the Company's collaboration with Genentech (as highlighted in our prior blog).
For more information about ImmunoGen you can view the comapany website: http://www.immunogen.com/wt/home/home
For the specific press release about the Novartis agreement click here.