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Gilead and MacroGenics will work together on bispecific antibodies for the treatment of blood cancers.
Gilead Sciences and MarcoGenics, a biopharmaceutical company focused on monoclonal antibody therapies, announced an exclusive option and collaboration agreement on Oct. 17, 2022. Gilead will pay $60 million upfront for the option to license MGD023, an investigational bispecific antibody, as well as two additional bispecific research programs. MacroGenics will be eligible for up to $1.7 billion in target nomination and option fees as well as development, regulatory and commercial milestones; should it reach commercialization, the company will also be entitled to various tiered royalties.
According to Gilead’s press release, MGD024 is currently being investigated as a potential treatment for certain blood cancers, such as acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). The antibody was formed using MacroGenics DART platform to bind interleukin 3 receptor α and cluster of differentiation 2 (CD2). It also incorporates a cluster of differentiation 3 (CD3) components that are designed to minimize cytokine-release syndrome (CRS), a potentially life-threatening toxicity, while also increasing the magnitude of antitumor activity with a longer half-life to enable intermittent dosing.
Per the terms of the agreement, MacroGenics is responsible for the ongoing Phase I study for the MGD023. The study includes a dose escalation segment and an expansion segment intended to evaluate it as a monotherapy and in combination with various other therapies. Gilead may elect to exercise its licensing option at predefined decision points.
“MacroGenics’ bispecific expertise naturally complements Gilead’s portfolio strengths in immuno-oncology and our growing hematology franchise,” said Bill Grossman, senior VP, oncology clinical development, Gilead Sciences, in the release. “We believe MGD024, with its potential to reduce CRS and permit intermittent dosing through a longer half-life, could translate to more patient-friendly dosing and enhanced clinical outcomes for people living with AML and MDS. This partnership is the latest in our efforts to develop and advance transformative new cancer therapies as we deepen our portfolio across oncology indications.”
“Rapid advances over the last decade have made CD123 a very promising target in oncology research,” said Scott Koenig, president and CEO of MacroGenics, in the release. “Advancing our bispecific DART molecule, MGD024, through a strategic collaboration with the team at Gilead will accelerate our ability to drive further development of MGD024 to the potential benefit of people living with blood cancers.”