ImmunoGen has licensed its anti-cancer technology to Amgen for an upfront payment of $1 million. The deal gives biotechnology company Amgen the right to use ImmunoGen’s maytansinoid targeted antibody payload (TAP) technology to create cancer-fighting therapies to an undisclosed target. In addition to the initial payment, Immunogen may earn up to $34 million in milestone payments, plus royalties on the sale of any resulting products. Amgen will be responsible for the development, manufacture and marketing of any products resulting from the license.
This marks the second deal Cambridge, Mass.-based Immunogen has made with Amgen. In September, Amgen licensed ImmunoGen’s TAP technology for another undisclosed cancer target. ImmunoGen already has licensing agreements with Genentech, Roche, Sanofi-Aventis, Biogen Idec and Biotest.
ImmunoGen specializes in the development of cancer-kiling antibodies. Traditional antibodies are good at binding to cancer cells, but do a less than stellar job of killing them. ImmunoGen’s TAP technology involves the use of specialized anti-cancer agents to act as payloads. These payloads are attached to antibodies for targeted delivery to tumor cells. According to the company, their payload agents are 1,000 to 10,000 times more potent than traditional chemotherapy agents. ImmunoGen recently announced favorable Phase I data for IMGN901, its drug candidate for an aggressive neuroendocrine cancer called Merkel cell carcinoma.