CAMBRIDGE and WALTHAM, MA, March 23, 2015, and OSAKA, Japan, March 24, 2015 – Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE:4502) and ImmunoGen, Inc. (Nasdaq: IMGN), a biotechnology company that develops targeted anticancer therapeutics using its state-of-the-art antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology, today announced that Takeda has licensed exclusive rights to use ImmunoGen’s ADC technology – including ImmunoGen’s new DNA-acting IGN payload agents – to develop and commercialize targeted anticancer therapeutics to up to two undisclosed targets. The agreement also provides Takeda with the option to take a license for a third target for an additional upfront fee.
ImmunoGen will receive $20 million upfront and – for each target – is eligible to receive milestone payments potentially totaling up to $210 million plus royalties on the commercial net sales of any resulting ADC products. Takeda is responsible for the development, manufacturing and marketing of any ADC products resulting from this agreement.
“Takeda shares our commitment to developing novel anticancer therapies that meaningfully improve the lives of patients, and we look forward to collaborating with them to create important new ADC product candidates,” commented Daniel Junius, ImmunoGen President and CEO.
“ADC technology is a critically important tool in addressing unmet needs in oncology,” said Christopher Claiborne, Ph.D., Head of the Oncology Drug Discovery Unit at Takeda. “By partnering with ImmunoGen, we are able to leverage this important technology in Takeda’s R&D program and bring novel agents through the clinic.”
Takeda signed an agreement with ImmunoGen through its wholly owned subsidiary, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
ImmunoGen is not updating its guidance for its 2015 fiscal year at this time.
About ImmunoGen’s ADC Technology Portfolio
ImmunoGen created – and continues to expand – its proprietary portfolio of ADC technology to enable the creation of new treatments for people with cancer.
An ADC consists of a monoclonal antibody that binds to a target found on cancer cells with a cancer-cell killing agent, or “payload”, attached. The antibody serves to target the payload specifically to the cancer cells and the payload serves to kill these cells. In some cases, the antibody also has meaningful anticancer activity.
ImmunoGen has established a deep portfolio of ADC technology to enable the development of an optimal ADC design for each cancer target, including a selection of potent payload agents and engineered linkers.
ImmunoGen’s cell-killing payload agents have been developed specifically for delivery to cancer cells using a targeting vehicle: they are more potent than traditional chemotherapy agents and can be attached to the targeting vehicle via ImmunoGen’s engineered linkers. The Company’s portfolio of proprietary payload agents includes its tubulin-acting maytansinoids, which are used in over ten ADCs in the clinic today including the marketed product, Kadcyla®. ImmunoGen created its DNA-acting IGN family of payload agents to further expand the types of cancers potentially addressable with effective ADC therapies, such as cancers insensitive to tubulin-acting agents or with less-robust target expression.
ImmunoGen’s engineered linkers are designed to be stable while the ADC is traveling through the blood stream to the cancer cells and then optimize payload release and antitumor activity. The Company has established a rich portfolio of intracellularly cleavable and non-cleavable linkers. To facilitate assessment of alternative linker/payload pairings in optimizing ADC design, ImmunoGen’s linkers are compatible with both its maytansinoid and IGN platforms.
Located in Osaka, Japan, Takeda is a research-based global company with its main focus on pharmaceuticals. As the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan and one of the global leaders of the industry, Takeda is committed to strive towards better health for people worldwide through leading innovation in medicine. Additional information about Takeda is available through its corporate website, www.takeda.com.
About ImmunoGen, Inc.
ImmunoGen, Inc. develops targeted anticancer therapeutics. The Company’s ADC technology uses tumor-targeting antibodies to deliver an ImmunoGen cell-killing agent specifically to cancer cells; the Company has also developed antibodies with anticancer activity of their own. The first product with ImmunoGen’s ADC technology is Roche’s Kadcyla. ImmunoGen has three wholly owned product candidates in clinical testing with additional compounds in clinical testing through the Company’s partnerships with Amgen, Bayer HealthCare, Biotest, Novartis and Sanofi. More information about ImmunoGen can be found at www.immunogen.com.
Kadcyla® is a registered trademark of Genentech, a member of the Roche Group.