Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and Agenus have entered into a definitive agreement under which BMS will be granted a global exclusive license to the latter’s proprietary bispecific antibody programme, AGEN1777, that blocks TIGIT and a second undisclosed target.
AGEN1777 is an Fc-enhanced antibody in late preclinical development designed to target major inhibitory receptors expressed on T and NK cells to improve anti-tumour activity.
In preclinical studies this approach has shown significant potential in tumour models where anti-PD-1 or anti-TIGIT monospecific antibodies alone are ineffective.
Under the agreement, BMS will become solely responsible for the development and any subsequent commercialization of AGEN1777 and its related products worldwide.
Agenus will receive a $200 million upfront payment and up to $1.36 billion in development, regulatory and commercial milestones in addition to tiered double-digit royalties on net product sales.
Agenus will retain options to conduct clinical studies under the development plan, to conduct combination studies with certain other Agenus pipeline assets, and also, upon commercialization, to co-promote AGEN1777 in the US.
Agenus expects to file an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for the development of AGEN1777 with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the second quarter of 2021.
BMS intends to advance the research and development of AGEN1777 in immuno-oncology (“I-O”) for high priority tumour indications including non-small cell lung cancer.
“AGEN1777’s differentiated mechanism of action provides the potential for potent anti-tumour activity; catalysing our clinical TIGIT strategy aimed at serving more patients with unmet needs in cancer,” said Debbie Law, D.Phil., Senior Vice President, Head of Tumour Microenvironment Thematic Research Centre, Bristol Myers Squibb.