Partnership with AnaptysBio Gives Tesaro Entrée to Immuno-Oncology

3/13/14Follow @bvbigelow

San Diego’s AnaptysBio has cut a deal with with Tesaro (NASDAQ: TSRO) that gives the Waltham, MA-based biopharmaceutical a new opening in the hot field of cancer immunotherapy.

Under the deal, Anaptys has granted Tesaro exclusive worldwide rights to preclinical antibody programs that target three “checkpoint” receptors (PD-1, TIM-3, and LAG-3) that regulate T cells, one of the white blood cell types that play a central role in the body’s immune response. Tesaro agreed to pay $17 million upfront to license the three programs and to fund preclinical development, which will continue at AnaptysBio, according to CEO Hamza Suria.

Should those prospects make it to clinical trials, Tesaro would then take the lead in development, and shell out more cash to the San Diego company. Tesaro could pay AnaptysBio as much as $18 million per drug candidate in certain research and development milestone payments, and another $90 million per program should each hit certain regulatory goals. Should these experimental antibodies ever see the market, Anaptys also stands to receive some royalties and other payments tied to sales figures. All told, the deal could eventually net Anaptys more than $341 million if everything breaks right.

In a statement from Tesaro, CEO Lonnie Moulder says, “We view immuno-oncology as a platform that can potentially transform the way in which numerous cancers are treated, and we expect immunotherapy-based approaches to become the foundation of many future cancer therapy regimens.”

Anaptys Bio logo 2014AnaptysBio uses a process called somatic hypermutation to make therapeutic antibodies that can be optimized for a broad range of specific targets. The company has focused its own efforts on developing antibody treatments for inflammatory diseases, and has struck … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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