Micromet, Nycomed collaborate on anti-GM-CSF antibodies

Micromet Inc. and Nycomed have announced an agreement under which the two companies will collaborate on the development of anti-GM-CSF antibodies that may be useful for the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

ROSKILDE, Denmark—Micromet Inc. and Nycomed have announced an agreement under which the two companies will collaborate on the development of anti-GM-CSF antibodies that may be useful for the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
 
The lead product candidate in the collaboration is Micromet's MT203, a human antibody which neutralizes granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), a cytokine known to play a significant role in autoimmune and inflammatory disease.
Preclinical studies performed by Micromet support the development and evaluation of MT203 for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. MT203 is expected to enter clinical trials in 2008.
 
Under the terms of the agreement, Micromet will receive an upfront license fee of approximately $7 million and is eligible to receive R&D reimbursements and payments upon the achievement of development milestones of more than $160 million in the aggregate.
 
In addition, Micromet is eligible for royalties on worldwide sales of MT203 and other products that may be developed under the agreement. Micromet will be primarily responsible for performing preclinical development, process development and manufacturing of MT203 for early clinical trials.
 
Nycomed will be responsible for clinical development and commercialization on a worldwide basis. Nycomed will bear the cost of development activities and reimburse Micromet for its expenses incurred in connection with the development program.
 
"Neutralizing GM-CSF presents a new biology concept in inflammatory processes and may have the potential to improve the lives of patients suffering from severe chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases," says Anders Ullman, executive vice president R&D of Nycomed.  "Furthermore, this deal is the first example of Nycomed's strong commitment toward external collaborations across all development stages as a key component of our new R&D strategy. MT203 also highlights our strategic interest in inflammatory research."
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