Improving aim against tumors with Accurins

BIND Biosciences and Amgen sign agreement for the worldwide development and commercialization of a kinase inhibitor nanomedicine

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—In a collaboration aimed at developing anovel and targeted Accurin based on BIND Biosciences' nanomedicine platform andAmgen Inc.'s kinase inhibitor, BIND announced on Jan. 8 a global collaborationagreement with Amgen.
The goal is to develop and commercialize a kinase inhibitornanomedicine for treating a range of solid tumors, though the target and kinaseinhibitor remain undisclosed to the public. 
According to BIND, "the collaboration aims to create akinase inhibitor nanomedicine with optimized therapeutic properties, applyingfor the first time tissue targeting to molecularly targeted drugs."
The companies have not worked together before, though BINDCEO Scott Minick says, "we were both on each other's radar screens: Amgen as aleader in oncology with an in-depth knowledge of nanoparticle technology andBIND as the leader in targeted and programmable nanomedicine."
Minick explains that Amgen has been working internally onnanoparticle technology for some time and has a very sophisticatedunderstanding of the space, adding, "Our understanding is that the BIND datapublished in Science Translation Medicinein April 2012 got Amgen's attention based on the performance of BIND'sAccurins, both preclinically and clinically. Subsequently, they did an in-depthreview of BIND and our Accurin technology and concluded that BIND was theirpartner of choice."
Conversely, Minick says, his own company had been working onthe combination of its Accurin platform and molecularly targeted agents—kinaseinhibitors in particular—over the past year and was aware of Amgen's strongposition and promising molecules. 
"As we reviewed their molecule in-depth, we concluded thattheir kinase inhibitor was very interesting and that Amgen would be anoutstanding partner," Minick recalls. "We both completed those reviews latelast year and decided that together we could develop a new drug with greatpromise for cancer patients. The actual deal came together over a few-weekperiod at the end of the year. Amgen's reputation for moving very fast oncethey make a decision to do something is well-earned, and we are seeing thateven more clearly now that we are working together."
Under the terms of the agreement, Amgen will have theexclusive right to pursue development and commercialization of the Accurinkinase inhibitor against solid tumor targets to be selected by Amgen.
Both companies will work together on preclinical developmentand Amgen will assume responsibility for future development andcommercialization. BIND could receive upfront and development milestonepayments totaling $46.5 million, as well as potentially an additional $134million in regulatory and sales milestone payments for the first therapeuticindication—among other possible payments in the future beyond that roughly $180million and any tiered royalties on potential future sales.
"BIND's technology is well aligned with Amgen's focus on thedevelopment of highly targeted and selective oncology therapeutics," said Dr.Joseph P. Miletich, senior vice president of research and development at Amgen,in the news release about the deal. "We look forward to collaborating with theBIND scientific team to leverage this technology to address unmet medical needsof cancer patients."  
"The convergence of strong preclinical and clinical datavalidating BIND's Accurin platform and the performance of molecularly targetedagents, and particularly kinase inhibitors," Minick says, "points the way tothe potential clinical benefits of combining these technologies to achievethree levels of selectivity: tissue and cell targeting from the Accurintechnology and molecular targeting from the active pharmaceuticalingredient. Amgen showed real vision ingoing beyond traditional medicinal chemistry to maximize therapeutic benefitsusing Accurins. Based on a number of discussions we are having with majorpharma and biotechnology companies, we are at a tipping point in the emergenceof nanomedicine as an important strategic technology for the biopharmaindustry."
BIND's Medicinal Nanoengineering platform reportedly enablesthe design, engineering and manufacturing of Accurins with "unprecedentedcontrol over drug properties to maximize trafficking to disease sites,dramatically enhancing efficacy while minimizing toxicities," according tothe company, and BIND is developing a pipeline of novel Accurins that hold whatBIND feels to be "extraordinary potential to become best-in-class drugsand improve patient outcomes" in the areas of oncology, inflammatorydiseases and cardiovascular disorders.
BIND's lead product candidate, BIND-014, is currently inPhase I clinical testing in cancer patients and is designed to selectivelytarget a surface protein upregulated in a broad range of solid tumors. BINDalso develops Accurins in collaboration with pharmaceutical and biotechnologypartners to enable promising pipeline candidates to achieve their fullpotential and to utilize selective targeting to transform the performance ofimportant existing drug products.

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