Drug Research
Drug Discovery & Development

Seattle Genetics, Pieris enter into $1.2bn immuno-oncology collaboration

PBR Staff Writer Published 12 February 2018

Seattle Genetics and Pieris Pharmaceuticals partnered to develop multiple targeted bispecific immuno-oncology treatments for solid tumors and blood cancers.

The collaboration and license agreement will see both companies evaluate novel bispecific immuno-oncology agents that combine Pieris’ anticalin technology with select Seattle Genetics cancer-targeted antibodies.

The companies will combine their expertise and core technologies for the development of novel antibody-anticalin fusion proteins.

As per terms of the deal, Pieris will secure $30m upfront fee and tiered royalties on net sales up to low double-digits from Seattle Genetics.

Pieris is also eligible to receive up to $1.2bn total success-based payments across three product candidates.

Pieris’ advanced suite of agonistic costimulatory Anticalin proteins can be fused with a tumor-targeting antibody to activate the immune system preferentially in the tumor microenvironment.

The partnership will select the required product for the research program from Seattle Genetics’ portfolio of cancer targets and tumor-specific monoclonal antibodies.

The firms will design bispecific drug candidates to help patient’s immune cells to specifically focus on killing tumors.

Both companies will work on multiple antibody-anticalin fusion proteins during the research phase, and Seattle Genetics will be provided with an option to select up to three therapeutic programs for further development.

Before the initiation of the second pivotal trial, Pieris can involve in the global co-development and US commercialization of the second program. The global costs and profits will be shared on a 50/50 basis.

Seattle Genetics will alone develop, fund and commercialize the other two programs.

Seattle Genetics research senior vice president Dennis Benjamin said: “Pieris’ Anticalin technology and Antibody-Anticalin bispecific approach are intended to overcome the limitations of currently available immuno-oncology products.

"This partnership leverages our cancer targets and tumor-specific antibodies to explore multiple novel bispecific combinations, with the goal of developing targeted therapies that improve outcomes for people with cancer.”

Pieris president and CEO Stephen Yoder said the partnership combines the protein engineering and translational capabilities of both companies, using tumor-targeted monoclonal antibodies of Seattle Genetics and Pieris' Anticalin proteins to create novel bispecifics.

"This is our third significant alliance since January 2017 and is in alignment with our goal to create a respiratory- and oncology-focused commercial company," Yoder said.