Langer startup BINDs nanomedicine and drug targeting in $180M-plus Amgen deal
In a major coup for a startup that only turns 6 years old this year, nanomedicine company BIND Biosciences has signed a global and exclusive agreement with Amgen ($AMGN), the world's largest independent biotechnology company. The deal combines BIND's targeted nanomedicine delivery technology with an undisclosed Amgen proprietary kinase inhibitor to create an Accurin therapeutic with potential to treat a range of solid tumors.
BIND's Accurins are nanoparticles that enclose a payload of drug within a biodegradable controlled-release polymer sphere. This is coated with a "stealth" layer that hides the particle from the immune system, along with ligands that recognize markers on cell surfaces and selectively target the drug to the disease site.
BIND CEO Scott Minick explained to FierceBiotech at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco that the Accurins circulate around the body and then slip through leaky blood vessels to accumulate at the cancer site, potentially cutting the impact on healthy tissue. The lead Accurin, BIND-014, is in a Phase I trial for cancer.
The two companies will work together on preclinical development, and then Amgen will take over clinical development and commercialization. The deal could be worth up to $180 million or more for the smaller company, with upfront and development milestone payments totaling up to $46.5 million and an additional $134 million in regulatory and sales milestone payments for the first therapeutic indication. BIND will also get royalty payments on any sales.
According to BIND, this is the first commercial collaboration to apply a nanomedicine technology to a molecularly targeted drug, and Minick sees the agreement as a validation of BIND's technology. BIND is one of the many successful startups spun out from the drug delivery labs of the redoubtable biotech inventor and entrepreneur Robert Langer at MIT.
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