ImmunoGen grants TAP rights to Biotest AG

ImmunoGen Inc. announced it grants Biotest AG exclusive rights to use ImmunoGen’s Tumor-Activated Prodrug (TAP) technology with antibodies targeting an undisclosed target to develop novel anticancer therapeutics.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—ImmunoGen Inc. announced in July that it had entered into an agreement that grants Biotest AG exclusive rights to use ImmunoGen's Tumor-Activated Prodrug (TAP) tech­nology with antibodies targeting an undisclosed target to develop novel anticancer therapeutics. ImmunoGen will receive a $1 mil­lion upfront payment, up to $35.5 million in potential milestone pay­ments, and royalties on the sales of any resulting products. At specific stages during the clinical evalu­ation of any compound created under this agreement, ImmunoGen can elect to participate in the U.S. development and commercializa­tion of that compound.
 
"We're very pleased to enter into this agreement with Biotest, a suc­cessful Europe-based therapeu­tics and diagnostics company," says Dr. Mitchel Sayare, chairman and CEO of ImmunoGen. "This agree­ment further expands the applica­tion of our TAP technology and the opportunity for a significant financial return to ImmunoGen. Of particular importance, it provides us with the flexibility to choose to participate in the U.S. develop­ment and commercialization of any compound created under it, which could substantially increase the upside for ImmunoGen."
 
Dr. Gregor Schulz, chairman of the board of managing directors of Biotest, says, "The agreement with ImmunoGen is a big step for Biotest in the development of bio­therapeutic medical products. In conjunction with ImmunoGen's TAP technology, our BT-062 anti­body, with its specific efficacy mechanism and target accuracy, could represent a cancer treat­ment with enormous potential. We can now exploit this potential internationally. We are delighted to have the exclusive right to use ImmunoGen's proprietary tech­nology with antibodies to BT-062's target, and believe the compound or compounds we develop using it will have a favorable, patent-pro­tected competitive position."
 
The agreement grants Biotest exclusive rights to use ImmunoGen's maytansinoid TAP technology with antibodies to an undisclosed target to create anti­cancer therapeutics, which are expected to be developed for the treatment of multiple myeloma and other cancers.
 
ImmunoGen also receives manufacturing payments for any preclinical and clinical materials made at the request of Biotest. The agreement provides ImmunoGen with the right to elect to partici­pate in the U.S. development and commercialization of any result­ing compound in lieu of poten­tially receiving the milestone payments not yet earned and royalties on the U.S. sales of that product. ImmunoGen can exer­cise this right at certain points in the clinical evaluation of the compound by payment to Biotest of an agreed-upon fee of $5 mil­lion or $15 million, depending on the stage of development. Upon exercise of this right, the two com­panies would share equally the associated costs of product devel­opment and commercialization in the United States along with the profit, if any, from U.S. product sales.
 
A TAP compound consists of a tumor-targeting antibody with a potent cell-killing agent attached. The antibody component is designed to bind to a target found on cancer cells and serves to deliv­er the TAP compound specifically to these cells. Once a TAP com­pound has bound to and entered the cell, the attached cell-killing agent is able to kill the cancer cell. ImmunoGen develops its own TAP compounds and also outli­censes its TAP technology to other companies for use with their pro­prietary antibodies.
 
Four TAP compounds are in clinical testing, two of which are wholly owned by ImmunoGen, and two others which are in development by the sanofi-aventis Group and Genentech. Biotest AG, based in Dreieich, Germany, researches and manufactures pharmaceuti­cal, biotherapeutic and diagnostic products and has specialized in immunology and hematology.


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