Bluebird and Medigene Expands Cancer Immunotherapy Collaboration
Medigene has agreed to expand its nearly two-year-old strategic alliance with Bluebird bio, focusing on the research and development of T-cell receptor-modified T-cell immunotherapies (TCR-T) for the treatment of cancer.
The company announced this week that the expansion could generate up to $509 million, plus more, for Medigene.
Under the revised terms of the agreement, the number of target antigen/MHC restriction combinations for the discovery of specific TCR lead candidates by Medigene will be increased from four to six. As part of this contractual expansion, Medigene will receive an additional one-time payment of USD 8 million.
R&D funding for all work performed by Medigene in this collaboration will grow proportionally to address the broader scope of the collaboration.
In addition, the aggregate amount of all potential development and commercial milestones, as well as royalty payments, has been significantly increased in line with the extended number of TCR projects.
If successfully developed and marketed through several indications and markets, Medigene could receive up to USD 250 million in milestone payments per TCR program in addition to tiered royalty payments on net sales up to a double-digit percentage.
Following the amendment of the agreement, Medigene anticipates receiving an additional payment of USD 1 million associated with the first collaboration project under the agreement.
“We are delighted to broaden this outstanding collaboration for the joint research and discovery of TCR lead candidates designed for the treatment of multiple cancer indications,” said Medigene CEO and CSO, Dolores Schendel. “Medigene is contributing its unique TCR technology platform, which encompasses multiple innovative screening and assessment tools to identify and characterize specific, non-modified TCRs to selected target antigens in a highly competitive timeframe.”
“The expansion of this alliance further validates the efficiency and quality of Medigene’s TCR platform technology,” she added.
“As we continue to build our leadership in immuno-oncology, we value Medigene’s TCR technology platform which enables us to tackle intracellular tumour antigens not addressable by CAR-Ts,” Bluebird bio CSO, Philip Gregory, PhD, commented. “Our expanded collaboration will help us broaden our pipeline of TCR lead candidates for potential future clinical development.”