ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Enters into Research and License Option Agreement with Roche Group
News Sep 11, 2009
ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd., a clinical-stage biotechnology company that is developing immune based therapies for the treatment of brain and other cancers, announced that it has entered into a research and license option agreement regarding its ICT-69 antibody with Roche Group.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Company will license to Roche the rights to investigate the potential of ICT-69 in the diagnosis and treatment of multiple myeloma and ovarian cancer for an upfront payment.
Upon completion of the evaluation period, Roche has the right to acquire for an option exercise payment a commercial license for ICT-69 from IMUC, which would result in total payments due to the Company of up to $32 million in the event that all developmental milestones are met. Royalties also will be payable to IMUC based on Roche's worldwide sales of ICT-69 products.
"We are extremely pleased to have generated the interest of such a significant player in the international healthcare market," remarked Manish Singh, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of IMUC. "We believe that Roche's interest serves as a validation of our strong portfolio of antibody therapies designed to diagnose and treat cancers and may increase our ability to attract further partnership activities going forward."
ICT-69 is one of several monoclonal antibodies currently being developed for multiple cancer indications by IMUC. It was designed using the Company's DIAAD (Differential Immunization for Antigen and Antibody Discovery) technology with the purpose of targeting human multiple myeloma (MM) and ovarian cancer cells.
Preclinical data have demonstrated the ability of ICT-69 to target antigens specific to human MM cells without binding to healthy tissues, making it a strong potential candidate for therapeutic applications associated with MM as it directly targets malignant cells without corresponding damage to healthy cells. IMUC holds four issued patents pertaining to ICT-69 and its ability to act as both a therapeutic antibody as well as a diagnostic tool for MM and ovarian cancer.
Animal venoms are the subject of study at research center based at the Butantan Institute in São Paulo. But in this case, the idea is not to find antidotes, but rather to use the properties of the venoms themselves to identify molecular targets of diseases and, armed with that knowledge, develop new compounds that can be used as medicines.