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Playing with DARTs
by Kelsey Kaustinen  |  Email the author


ROCKVILLE, Md.A new option agreement was established today between MacroGenics, Inc. and Servier, the largest privately held pharmaceutical company in France. The agreement is centered on the development and commercialization of Dual-Affinity Re-Targeting (DART) products specified for three undisclosed tumor targets.
"We are delighted to enter into our second collaboration with Servier and our third major pharmaceutical partnership around our DART platform," Scott Koenig, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO of MacroGenics, said in a press release. "Servier has been an extraordinary partner with significant global capabilities in developing and delivering novel cancer treatments to patients. They will enable us to significantly broaden and accelerate our pipeline of innovative DART-based product candidates."
Per the terms of the agreement, Servier will pay $20 million in an upfront payment. MacroGenics will retain full development and commercialization rights to the three preclinical programs in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, India and Korea, and Servier will have the option to obtain an exclusive license for each of the programs ocvering the rest of the world. Both parties will contribute funding to the collaboration and will be responsible for certain research and development activities. Servier may choose to exercise its option for one of the programs before IND submission, and for each of the other two programs once an initial Phase I clinical trial is completed. Upon the execution of such options, MacroGenics will receive option exercise fees that, when combined with preclinical milestones, would total up to $80 million. MacroGenics is also eligible for up to an additional $1 billion in clinical, regulatory and commercialization milestones for the three programs. If such an option is exercised, both companies will share the clinical development costs. MacroGenics also stands to receive tiered, double-digit royalties on future net sales.  
"Today's announcement further underscores Servier's commitment to develop novel targeted therapies that address significant unmet medical needs for cancer patients," Emmanuel Canet, M.D., Ph.D., president of Research & Development at Servier, said in a statement. "We continue to look forward to building a long-term strategic collaboration with MacroGenics, a pioneer in developing next-generation antibody therapeutics."  
DART technology from MacroGenics consists of a proprietary, bi-specific antibody platform in which a single recombinant molecule is capable of targeting two different antigens. DART proteins can be used in redirecting the human body's cell-destroying, immune effector cells against tumor cells. Proteins resulting from the program are highly potent and feature favorable manufacturing properties. They can be produced with short or extended serum half-life, making them appropriate for a variety of applications in different indications.  
"We are very pleased to be expanding our existing relationship with MacroGenics. Servier partnered with MacroGenics in late 2011 on MGA271, a monoclonal antibody that recognizes B7-H3, a novel member of the B7 family of immune regulators. We believe bi-specific antibodies are an important new frontier in medicine," said Stephane Depil, M.D., Ph.D., in charge of Oncology Research & Development at Servier. "MacroGenics is well positioned to be a leader in this exciting area, given the robustness and versatility of their DART platform. Furthermore, they have a proven track record in successfully integrating their powerful antibody discovery and bi- specific platforms."  
SOURCE: MacroGenics, Inc.
Code: E09201201



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