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Boehringer and Micromet collaboration

Boehringer Ingelheim and Micromet have announced a collaboration for a new BiTE antibody for multiple myeloma – a cancer of white blood cells

Boehringer Ingelheim and Micromet have announced a global collaboration for a new BiTE antibody for multiple myeloma – a cancer that begins in plasma cells, a type of white blood cell.

Micromet will receive an upfront payment of €5m, with potential development and regulatory milestone payments of up to €50m. The US-based company, who specialise in research and development of novel antibody-based therapeutics, will also be legible for tiered low double-digit royalties on product sales outside the US.

Micromet will be responsible for the discovery of the BiTE antibody - a new therapeutic approach to cancer therapy, with the aim of directing the body's cell-destorying T cells to attack tumour cells. T cells lack the suitable receptors for regular antibodies, but BiTE antibodies have been shown to bind T cells to tumour cells, leading to its destruction.

Further pre-clinical studies involving the antibody will see both companies work together. German pharmaceutical company, Boehringer Ingelheim, will be responsible for all manufacturing activities, clinical development and worldwide commercialisation subject to Micromet's co-promotion right in the US.

Both companies will jointly co-promote the BiTE antibody with commercial terms corresponding with a profit split inside the US.

Multiple myeloma remains largely incurable, with almost all patients relapsing after an initial response to treatment.

"We recognise the advantage of combining Micromet's BiTE antibody platform with our target identification and development expertise and we believe that a BiTE antibody has the potential to address the significant unmet medical need of patients with multiple myeloma,” said Dr Wolfgang Rettig, head of corporate research at Boehringer Ingelheim.

6th May 2010

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