Amgen and Immatics Biotechnologies, a company in the field of cancer immunotherapy, have announced a research collaboration and exclusive license agreement to develop next-generation, T-cell engaging bispecific immunotherapies targeting multiple cancers.
The collaboration will combine Immatics' world-leading XPRESIDENT target discovery and T-cell receptor (TCR) capabilities with Amgen's validated Bispecific T-cell Engager (BiTE) technology with the aim of creating novel oncology drugs. Amgen will be responsible for the clinical development, manufacturing and commercialization worldwide.
Under the terms of the agreement, Immatics will receive an upfront fee of $30 million and is eligible to receive over $500 million in development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments for each program and tiered royalties up to a double-digit percentage of net sales.
"We are very pleased to be entering this strategic collaboration with Amgen, which is contributing its bispecific T-cell engagers expertise, as together we look to develop novel immunotherapies that will deliver a step change in the treatment of several cancers. This collaboration also demonstrates Amgen's confidence in Immatics' world-leading immune-oncology target and TCR discovery capabilities," said Carsten Reinhardt, M.D., Ph.D., managing director and chief medical officer at Immatics.
"The intersection of immunology and oncology represents a promising and rapidly developing approach that can have a significant impact for patients with cancer," said Sean E. Harper, M.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen. "We look forward to collaborating with Immatics to translate their unique target and TCR discovery capabilities combined with Amgen's validated BiTE technology into novel therapies."
T-cell engaging bispecifics leverage the body's immune system by redirecting the T-cell response towards cancer cells expressing specific tumor antigens. Immatics' TCR-bispecifics and Amgen's BiTE antibody constructs each possess two or more binding domains. One such binding domain specific to an intracellular antigen discovered by XPRESIDENT presented on the surface of a cancer cell; another such binding domain is designed to recognize a T-cell activator, such as CD3. This approach allows every T-cell to become activated and able to attack the tumor, independent of the T-cells' intrinsic specificity. This bispecific approach is designed to improve the immunotherapies' ability to eradicate malignant cells while avoiding damage to healthy tissues.