ROCKVILLE, Md. , Jan. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- MacroGenics, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company that develops next generation antibody therapeutics, announced it has entered into a license agreement with Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) for the development and commercialization of Dual-Affinity Re-Targeting (DART™) products directed at up to four undisclosed targets. MacroGenics' DART technology is a proprietary, bi-specific antibody platform in which a single recombinant molecule is able to target two different antigens.
"We look forward to building a long-term collaboration with MacroGenics, a leader in the development of bi-specific antibodies, which represents a promising new area of research," said Roy D. Baynes, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Oncology and Inflammation Therapeutics at Gilead. "This partnership underscores Gilead's commitment to developing innovative therapies that address significant unmet medical needs for patients with cancer and other life-threatening diseases."
Under the terms of the agreement, MacroGenics could receive a total of up to $30 million in license fee payments, and up to an additional $85 million in pre-clinical milestones across the four DART programs. Gilead has exclusive worldwide rights for three of the programs. For one program, MacroGenics retains development and commercialization rights outside of North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, which encompasses multiple major markets including Japan, China, Korea, Brazil, Russia and others. Gilead will fully fund MacroGenics' research activities with respect to the four programs. MacroGenics could also receive up to approximately $1 billion in clinical, regulatory and commercialization milestone payments if all four programs achieve the requisite milestones . Finally, MacroGenics may receive tiered (up to low double-digit) royalties on future net sales.
"We are very pleased to enter this collaboration with Gilead, a world-class biopharmaceutical company committed to the development of innovative therapeutics," said Scott Koenig, M.D., Ph.D., President and CEO of MacroGenics. "As the fourth major collaboration around our DART platform in the past two years, this deal represents the latest validation of our ongoing efforts."About DARTs MacroGenics' DART technology enables the generation of highly stable antibody-based therapeutics that can simultaneously target two different antigens. DART therapeutics can accommodate virtually any variable region sequence in a "plug-and-play" fashion, are highly potent, and have very favorable manufacturing properties. DARTs may be engineered with either short or extended serum half-life to support various applications in different disease areas. In one particular configuration, DART proteins can be used to redirect the body's cell-destroying, immune effector cells against tumor cells. To date, the company has engineered over 100 different DART proteins developed for both internal pipeline programs and external collaborators. MacroGenics anticipates submitting an IND for its first DART product candidate in late 2013. MacroGenics continues to expand its significant patent estate around its DART technology.
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