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Amgen signs $180m nanotechnology cancer deal

Will combine BIND Biosciences' tissue-targeting technology with a molecularly-targeted drug

Amgen - flag on building 

Amgen has teamed up with nanotechnology specialist BIND Biosciences to develop a new version of one of its kinase inhibitor cancer drugs.

The deal - worth up to $180m with $46.5m in upfront fees - will focus on the application of BIND's Accurin targeted nanoparticle technology to Amgen's drug candidate, and is the first major collaboration for the nanomedicine company.

The Accurin technology is designed to improve the targeting of drugs to diseased cells and tissues through the use of ligands on the surface of nanoparticles, with a polymer core of the particle used to carry and deliver the active ingredient. 

Accurins also feature a "stealth" layer that help the particle evade detection by the immune system, preventing the formation of neutralising antibodies that could block the drug's efficacy.

Amgen and BIND said the collaboration is the first time that tissue-targeting technology has been combined with a molecularly-targeted drug, although the identity of the target and the therapeutic payload has not been disclosed.

Under the terms of the agreement, Amgen will have the exclusive right to develop and sell the Accurin kinase inhibitor for solid tumour targets. Both companies will work on preclinical development work for the drug, with Amgen taking over responsibility once it reaches the clinical trials stage.

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based BIND has already advanced its own Accurin candidate BIND-014 into clinical trials in cancer patients. The nanoparticle carries docetaxel in its core with a ligand on the surface that targets prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA), a cell-surface protein that is expressed on certain cancer cells as well as new blood vessels that feed a wide array of solid tumours.

BIND-014 successfully completed a phase I trial last year and is due to start phase II testing in multiple cancer indications later in 2013, said the company.

9th January 2013

From: Research

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