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In a deal potentially worth more than $530 million, Amgen will use TScan Therapeutics’ target discovery platform to home in on novel targets for Crohn’s disease treatment.
Amgen and TScan Therapeutics, a US-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company specializing in T cell receptor-engineered T-cell therapies, announced on May 9, 2023 that they have entered into a multi-year collaboration under which they will use TScan's proprietary target discovery platform, TargetScan, to identify antigens recognized by T cells in patients with Crohn's disease. Under the agreement, TScan will receive a $30 million upfront payment. The company is also eligible to earn more than $500 million upon achievement of preclinical, clinical, regulatory, and commercial milestones as well as tiered single-digit royalty payments.
For its part, Amgen will evaluate a variety of modalities as it seeks to create therapeutics based on targets discovered by TScan. Amgen will retain all global development and commercial rights. It also has an option, under certain terms, to expand the collaboration to ulcerative colitis. Each party will handle its own research expenses.
"Anti-inflammatory drugs have traditionally been the standard of care for patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, but often lack efficacy and durability," said Raymond Deshaies, senior vice-president of Global Research at Amgen, in a company press release. "TScan's platform provides [an] approach to identify non-conventional drug targets to enable the development of potential first-in-class therapeutics to address unmet medical needs."
"We're excited to apply our target discovery platform to the autoimmunity space," said Gavin MacBeath, acting CEO and chief scientific and operating officer at TScan, in the release. "Our TargetScan platform, which we have now extended to identify MHC [major histocompatibility complex] class II targets of CD4+ T cells, is well-suited for the discovery of antigens targeted by the immune system in inflammatory bowel disease. We look forward to developing the value of our platform both in this partnership with Amgen and in other autoimmune diseases."