BIND Bioscience CEO Scott Minick is having a good JP Morgan Health Conference. As reported early Tuesday by Xconomy, he was able to announce just one day in to the meeting that BIND signed its first major drug development deal, worth at least $180.5 million, with biotech powerhouse Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) of Thousand Oaks, CA. But Minick told me that the deal also signals a turning point for the whole field of nanoparticle-based drugs, BIND’s research focus.
“I’ve been a little surprised at the pace at which [the pharmaceutical industry] has adopted nanomedicine,” said Minick in a phone interview from San Francisco, referring to medicines encapsulated in nano-sized particles. “I thought they would understand the impact and move faster.”
Although a number of startups are working on nanoparticle-based drugs, Minick believes that the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval from the world’s largest biotech company marks an inflection point for the nascent technology. “Amgen has done tremendous work internally on nanoparticles, and they concluded that they want to make a significant effort in this area.” Amgen’s competitors will surely take notice as a result, he predicts.