BERLIN—Bayer HealthCare has signed a deal with Amgen Research GmbHin Munich, Germany, (formerly Micromet GmbH) to develop and commercialize another newBispecific T cell Engager (BiTE) antibody against an undisclosed targetexpressed in multiple tumors.
Bayer had forged a first option,collaboration and license agreement with Micromet in January 2009 todiscover and develop a novel BiTE antibody targeting PSMA (prostatespecific membrane antigen) for the treatment of patients with prostatecancer. Amgen acquired Micromet in March of this year.Under the terms of the present agreement, Bayer willcollaborate with Amgen Research in Munich from the research phasethrough the completion of Phase I clinical trials, upon which Bayer willassume full control of further development and commercialization of theproduct candidate.
The cooperation also includes evaluation of BiTEantibodies with an extended serum half-life. Financial details of thecollaboration were not disclosed.
"We are looking forward to developing a second BiTEantibody with Amgen as a promising approach of a targeted therapy fordifferent solid tumors," said Prof. Dr. Andreas Busch, head of global drug discovery and member of the executive committee of BayerHealthCare. "Oncology is one of our core growth areas and biologics are akey focus of our strategy to develop novel treatments for patientssuffering from cancer."
The development of the initial BiTE antibodyresulting from the 2009 collaboration progresses according to plan andthe initiation of the clinical Phase I trial could start as early as inthe second half of 2012.
"We are enthusiastic about the potential of the BiTEplatform that we acquired from Micromet and are pleased to be entering asecond collaboration with Bayer for the development of a new BiTEantibody that has potential to treat patients," said Dr. Sean E. Harper,Amgen's executive vice president of research and development.