Eli Lilly has rekindled his relationship with ImmunoGen. Lilly has negotiated a new arrangement, paying $13 million upfront and pledging up to $1.7 billion in total to acquire up rights to another antibody-drug conjugate (ADCs) technology, some years after cancelling an earlier partnership. ADCs based on ImmunoGen’s camptothecin technology are covered by the new agreement. Antibodies have been studied for years as a way to guide the administration of camptothecins, a class of medicines that includes the chemotherapies irinotecan and topotecan.
ImmunoGen has made strides in the field, listing novel camptothecin toxins among its early-stage intellectual property, and has been rewarded with a new Lilly collaboration. In exchange for $13 million up front, Lilly has secured the rights to employ camptothecin technology against certain targets. In exchange for $32.5 million, Lilly will be able to add more targets to the arrangement.
Lilly previously partnered with ImmunoGen in 2011, receiving three exclusive licences in exchange for a $20 million upfront payment and $4 million in exercise fees. Since then, the ADCs industry has altered dramatically, with clinical data and approvals validating the technology and paving the way for a slew of high-profile transactions.