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BMS links up with Molecular Templates for oncology research collaboration

Deal could be worth up to $1.3bn in milestone payments

Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) has entered a strategic research collaboration with Molecular Templates (MTEM) to discover and develop novel therapies against oncology targets.

As part of the collaboration, BMS will leverage MTEM’s engineered toxin body (ETB) platform to develop a ‘new class’ of targeted oncology therapeutics.

In a statement, MTEM said that ETBs act through differentiated mechanisms of actions, and directly kill targeted cells through the enzymatic inactivation of ribosomes.

BMS will pay $70m upfront for access to MTEM’s technology, with MTEM also being eligible to receive further milestone payments of up to approximately $1.3bn, as well as tiered royalty payments on future sales.

MTEM will conduct research activities for the discovery of next-generation ETBs for multiple, undisclosed targets, although BMS has already selected the first target.

BMS will retain the option to exercise an exclusive worldwide licence for the development and commercialisation on ETBs directed to each selected target.

Following this, BMS will be solely responsible for developing and commercialising the licensed ETBs.

“Bristol Myers Squibb is a leading global pharmaceutical company with a strong oncology franchise and a history of innovation, making them an ideal partner for the discovery and development of novel ETBs for the treatment of cancer,” said Eric Poma, chief executive and scientific officer of Molecular Templates.

MTEM’s pipeline includes a number of oncology-directed assets, such as a first-generation ETB (MT-3724) in phase 2 development for pre-treated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) patients.

The company is also developing a second-generation ETB, MT-5111, that is directed to target HER2 expressing cells and is being studied in a phase 1 trial of patients with HER2-positive solid tumours.

Another second-generation ETB asset, TAK-169, is being developed in collaboration with Japanese pharma company Takeda.

TAK-169 has demonstrated a pre-clinical ability to bind and kill CD38-expressing cells that are over-expressed in certain cancer types.

MTEM and Takeda are already evaluating TAK-169 in a phase 1 dose-escalation study of relapsed/refractory myeloma patients.

“MTEM is excited to be working with Bristol Myers Squibb to focus on discovering and developing new ETBs against promising oncology targets," said Poma

“This collaboration provides further validation of our ETB platform while we continue to advance our wholly-owned product pipeline to offer promising therapeutic options for patients,” he added.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

16th February 2021

From: Research

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