ImmunoGen will receive $13m in upfront payment for initial targets and is eligible to receive an additional $32.5m for further targets


Eli Lilly and Company’s corporate centre in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Credit: Momoneymoproblemz/Wikipedia)

ImmunoGen, a developer of antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapeutics, has reached a global licensing agreement worth up to $1.7bn with Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly).

Under the terms of the deal, Lilly will get exclusive rights to research, develop, and market ADCs developed based on ImmunoGen’s camptothecin technology for select targets.

ImmunoGen will retain all the rights related to the camptothecin platform for the targets that are not covered by the current licensing deal with Lilly.

Lilly will pay an upfront payment of $13m to ImmunoGen for the initial targets and is responsible for all costs associated with research and development.

The US drugmaker has the option to select a pre-specified number of additional targets for an additional fee of $32.5m if the company licenses the full number of targets.

ImmunoGen would receive up to $1.7bn in potential target program exercise fees and pre-specified milestone payments, in addition to tiered royalties on commercial sales by Lilly.

ImmunoGen senior vice president and chief business officer Stacy Coen said: “Lilly has a proven track record of bringing transformative oncology medicines to market, and we are pleased that they selected our novel camptothecin technology to integrate with their efforts to develop next-generation ADCs.

“This licensing agreement demonstrates ImmunoGen’s continued innovation in ADCs, creates value from our intellectual property around a proprietary platform, and further enhances our ability to re-invest in our business as we build out our pipeline and accelerate our transformation into a fully-integrated oncology company.”

ImmunoGen is a biotechnology company engaged in developing the next generation of ADCs to improve outcomes for cancer patients.

ADCs are believed to deliver the monoclonal antibody payload to the diseased area while mitigating any impact to healthy surrounding cells, similar to a guided missile.

Camptothecins are an important class of anticancer drugs that target Type I topoisomerase and are used as chemotherapy to treat cancer.

ImmunoGen designed a portfolio of camptothecins to optimise existing camptothecin technology to potentially deliver enhanced therapeutic safety and efficacy.