Nanomedicine: The next (not-so-) big thing

BIND Therapeutics announces collaboration with Pfizer to develop nanoparticle-based therapeutics

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NEW YORK—BIND Therapeutics and Pfizer Inc. have announced aglobal collaboration to develop and commercialize multiple Accurins related toan undisclosed target.
Accurins are BIND's proprietary nanoparticle-basedtherapeutics, which can be programmed in such a way that they are delivered toand accumulate in targeted diseased tissues and cells, resulting in highconcentrations of API at the site of action while minimizing exposure tonon-targeted tissue. Accurins are selectively targeted to specific diseasedcells and tissues using ligand molecules that coat the particle surface. TheAccurin particle is programmed to evade the immune system, travel to theintended site and release an encapsulated drug, resulting in higher drugconcentrations delivered in a controlled and targeted manner that improves bothsafety and efficacy, according to BIND.
Under the terms of the agreement, Pfizer will give BIND thedesired molecules to target, and both companies will work together onpreclinical research. BIND will optimize Accurins to deliver compounds to theintended target. Once these Accurins have been developed and optimized, and aninitial screening has been completed, Pfizer will have the exclusive option toselect those that it wishes to advance into clinical trials. Pfizer will haveresponsibility for development and commercialization of any Accurins for whichit elects to exercise this option.
For each Accurin commercialized, BIND could receive upfrontand development milestone payments totaling approximately $50 million,approximately $160 million in regulatory and sales milestone payments for eachAccurin commercialized, plus tiered royalties on potential future sales.
"Pfizer has a strong legacy in targeted small-molecule drugdiscovery and development and continues to be on the cutting edge of innovationin this area," Rod MacKenzie, senior vice president and head ofPharmaTherapeutics R&D at Pfizer, said in a media release announcing thecollaboration. "We look forward to working with the team at BIND to createtargeted Accurins with the aim of optimizing the therapeutic potential offuture small molecules."
Although the target of interest to Pfizer in thiscollaboration was not disclosed, BIND's two other recently announcedhigh-profile partners developing therapeutics based upon Accurins—Amgen andAstraZeneca—have signaled their intention to use the technology to focus ononcology targets.
"Cancer is a clear place to go with our technology becauseit allows you to concentrate the highly toxic molecules [used to treat cancer]locally and to avoid toxicity globally," says Scott Minick, CEO of BIND.
Broadly, Accurins are capable of going into two types ofspaces today. The first is wherever an Enhanced Permeability and Retention(EPR) effect occurs, where localized gaps in blood vessels can allow particlesto escape. This effect occurs in disease areas such as cancer and other tumors,and hematological malignancies. The second area is anything inside the bloodcompartment, because Accurins can target cells inside the blood vessels or theblood vessels themselves. This has potential applications in cardiovascular andautoimmune diseases.
Although they have not been used this way to date, inprinciple Accurins should be useful in applications where the nanoparticlescould be used as a transport mechanism, such as the traditionallydifficult-to-cross blood/brain barrier.
In addition to the Accurins it's developing with itspartners, BIND also is developing its own pipeline in the areas of oncology,inflammatory disease and cardiovascular disease. Its lead product candidate isBIND-014, which is designed to target a surface protein upregulated in multipletypes of solid tumor. BIND-014 is currently in Phase I clinical testing incancer patients.
The three collaboration deals with major pharmaceuticalcompanies that BIND has announced in 2013 carry with them a total economicvalue of about $1 billion.
"It speaks to the fact that nanomedicine has reached aninflection point in the pharmaceutical industry," says Minick. "It's gone froma neat-sounding future technology to something that's here, now."

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