BiTE antibodies: Bayer does it again
25.04.2012 - Even after the takeover of German-American Micromet Inc. by Amgen, Bite antibody technology remains interesting for other pharma partners.
Berlin/Martinsried – Bayer HealthCare has agreed to extend its collaboration with Amgen Research GmbH, as the former Micromet site in Munich is called today. Bayer and its partner will develop another new Bispecific T cell Engager antibody against an undisclosed target expressed in multiple tumours. The German pharma had forged a first option, collaboration and license agreement with Micromet in January 2009 to discover and develop a novel BiTE antibody targeting PSMA (prostate specific membrane antigen) for the treatment of patients with prostate cancer. Amgen acquired Micromet in March this year for US-$1.2bn and promised to keep the German site as its largest research centre outside the US. Under the terms of the present agreement, Bayer will collaborate with Amgen Research from the research phase through to the completion of Phase I clinical trials, upon which Bayer will assume full control of further development and commercialisation of the product candidate. The cooperation also includes evaluation of BiTE antibodies with an extended serum half-life. Financial details of the collaboration were not disclosed. Meanwhile, the development of the initial BiTE antibody resulting from the 2009 collaboration progresses according to plan and the initiation of the clinical Phase I trial could start as early as in the second half of 2012.