Playing with DARTs

MacroGenics, Servier ink development and commercialization option agreement

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ROCKVILLE, Md.—A new option agreement was established todaybetween MacroGenics, Inc. and Servier, the largest privately heldpharmaceutical company in France. The agreement is centered on the developmentand commercialization of Dual-Affinity Re-Targeting (DART) products specifiedfor three undisclosed tumor targets.
"We are delighted to enter into our second collaborationwith Servier and our third major pharmaceutical partnership around our DARTplatform," Scott Koenig, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO of MacroGenics, said ina press release. "Servier has been an extraordinary partner with significantglobal capabilities in developing and delivering novel cancer treatments topatients. They will enable us to significantly broaden and accelerate ourpipeline of innovative DART-based product candidates."
Per the terms of the agreement, Servier will pay $20 millionin an upfront payment. MacroGenics will retain full development andcommercialization rights to the three preclinical programs in the UnitedStates, Canada, Mexico, Japan, India and Korea, and Servier will have theoption to obtain an exclusive license for each of the programs ocvering therest of the world. Both parties will contribute funding to the collaborationand will be responsible for certain research and development activities.Servier may choose to exercise its option for one of the programs before INDsubmission, and for each of the other two programs once an initial Phase Iclinical trial is completed. Upon the execution of such options, MacroGenicswill receive option exercise fees that, when combined with preclinicalmilestones, would total up to $80 million. MacroGenics is also eligible for upto an additional $1 billion in clinical, regulatory and commercializationmilestones for the three programs. If such an option is exercised, bothcompanies will share the clinical development costs. MacroGenics also stands toreceive tiered, double-digit royalties on future net sales.
"Today's announcement further underscores Servier'scommitment to develop novel targeted therapies that address significant unmetmedical needs for cancer patients," Emmanuel Canet, M.D., Ph.D., president ofResearch & Development at Servier, said in a statement. "We continue tolook forward to building a long-term strategic collaboration with MacroGenics,a pioneer in developing next-generation antibody therapeutics."
DART technology from MacroGenics consists of a proprietary,bi-specific antibody platform in which a single recombinant molecule is capableof targeting two different antigens. DART proteins can be used in redirectingthe human body's cell-destroying, immune effector cells against tumor cells.Proteins resulting from the program are highly potent and feature favorablemanufacturing properties. They can be produced with short or extended serumhalf-life, making them appropriate for a variety of applications in differentindications.
"We are very pleased to be expanding our existingrelationship with MacroGenics. Servier partnered with MacroGenics in late 2011on MGA271, a monoclonal antibody that recognizes B7-H3, a novel member of theB7 family of immune regulators. We believe bi-specific antibodies are an importantnew frontier in medicine," said Stephane Depil, M.D., Ph.D., in charge ofOncology Research & Development at Servier. "MacroGenics is well positionedto be a leader in this exciting area, given the robustness and versatility oftheir DART platform. Furthermore, they have a proven track record insuccessfully integrating their powerful antibody discovery and bi-specificplatforms."
SOURCE: MacroGenics, Inc.

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