The FINANCIAL -- Bayer
HealthCare has agreed with Amgen Research GmbH to develop and commercialize another new Bispecific T
cell Engager antibody against an undisclosed target expressed in
Bayer had forged a first option, collaboration and license agreement with Micromet in January 2009 to discover and develop a novel BiTE antibody targeting PSMA for the treatment of patients with prostate cancer. Amgen acquired Micromet in March of this year.
Under the terms of the present agreement, Bayer will collaborate with Amgen Research in Munich from the research phase through the completion of Phase I clinical trials, upon which Bayer will assume full control of further development and commercialization of the product candidate. According to The Bayer Group, the cooperation also includes evaluation of BiTE antibodies with an extended serum half-life. Financial details of the collaboration were not disclosed.
“We are looking forward to developing a second BiTE antibody with Amgen as a promising approach of a targeted therapy for different solid tumors,” said Prof. Dr. Andreas Busch, Head of Global Drug Discovery and Member of the Executive Committee of Bayer HealthCare. “Oncology is one of our core growth areas and biologics are a key focus of our strategy to develop novel treatments for patients suffering from cancer.”
The development of the initial BiTE antibody resulting from the 2009 collaboration progresses according to plan and the initiation of the clinical Phase I trial could start as early as in the second half of 2012.
“We are enthusiastic about the potential of the BiTE platform that we acquired from Micromet and are pleased to be entering a second collaboration with Bayer for the development of a new BiTE antibody that has potential to treat patients,” said Sean E. Harper, M.D., Amgen’s executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen.