Seattle Genetics and Pieris in immuno-oncology collaboration

Alexion & Caelum developing light chain amyloidosis therapy
Credit: science photo

Seattle Genetics is collaborating with biotech Pieris Pharmaceuticals to develop multiple targeted bispecific immuno-oncology treatments for solid tumours and blood cancers.

The collaboration leverages the core technologies of both companies to develop novel Antibody-Anticalin fusion proteins.

Pieris’ proprietary suite of agonistic costimulatory Anticalin proteins, when fused to a tumour-targeting antibody, can activate the immune system preferentially in the tumour microenvironment.

Seattle Genetics, through its work in the field of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), has a substantial portfolio of cancer targets and tumour-specific monoclonal antibodies from which programs will be selected for the collaboration.

The bispecific drug candidates in this alliance will be designed to enable the patient’s immune cells to specifically attack tumours.

As per the agreement, Seattle Genetics will pay Pieris a $30 million upfront fee, tiered royalties on net sales up to low double-digits, and up to $1.2 billion in total success-based payments across three product candidates.

The companies will pursue multiple Antibody-Anticalin fusion proteins during the research phase, and Seattle Genetics has the option to select up to three therapeutic programs for further development.

Prior to the initiation of a pivotal trial, Pieris may opt into global co-development and US commercialisation of the second program and share in global costs and profits on a 50/50 basis. Seattle Genetics will solely develop, fund and commercialise the other two programs.