ImmunoGen has entered a collaboration and option agreement to grant exclusive worldwide rights to Jazz Pharmaceuticals for the development and commercialisation of two haematology-related antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) candidates, IMGN779 and IMGN632.

The agreement will also include a provision for an additional programme to be designated during the term of the deal.

Under the agreement, ImmunoGen will receive an upfront payment of $75m and up to $100m in development funding for seven years from Jazz to support the three ADC programmes.

IMGN779 is a new high-affinity, humanised, CD33-targeted ADC currently undergoing a Phase I clinical trial for the treatment of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).

IMGN632 is a preclinical stage humanised anti-CD123 antibody-based ADC set to be developed as a potential treatment for AML, blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN), myelodysplastic syndrome, B-cell acute lymphocytic leukaemia, and other CD123-positive malignancies.

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ImmunoGen intends to submit an investigational new drug (IND) application for IMGN632 this quarter, which is expected to enter clinical testing before the end of the year.

ImmunoGen president and chief executive officer Mark Enyedy said: “Jazz has demonstrated the ability to bring innovative compounds to patients and will make an ideal partner to help develop and commercialise our novel ADC assets targeting AML, and more broadly, in the area of haematology / oncology.

"In addition, this partnership significantly strengthens our financial position and moves us closer to delivering upon our mission of bringing ADC therapies to patients."

“In addition, this partnership significantly strengthens our financial position and moves us closer to delivering upon our mission of bringing ADC therapies to patients.”

As part of the deal, ImmunoGen will carry out the development of the three ADC programmes before any potential opt-in by Jazz Pharmaceuticals.

Following any opt-in, Jazz will be responsible for the further development of the products in addition to potential regulatory submissions and commercialisation.

After any opt-in, the two companies will share costs related to developing and obtaining regulatory approvals for the applicable product in the US and the European Union (EU).

Image: Bone marrow aspirate showing acute myeloid leukaemia. Photo: courtesy of VashiDonsk at the English language Wikipedia.