Fleximer ADC is based on Mersana’s biodegradable polymer system and a wide variety of linkers, which allow for the attachment of an extensive range of anti-tumour payloads to Fleximer.
Under the expanded collaboration, which is subject to future success of the programmes, Mersana is eligible to receive additional upfront and milestone payments of $300m.
Both firms announced their collaboration in April 2014, and were engaged in conducting pre-clinical and proof of concept studies for different Fleximer-ADCs against an undisclosed oncology target under a research license to Mersana’s Fleximer-ADC technology.
Takeda exercised an option to license commercial rights for the first drug candidate developed under the collaboration, which was announced in October 2014.
Mersana Therapeutics chief business officer Eva Jack said: “We are delighted to expand our relationship with Takeda and are excited about the prospects of Fleximer-ADC candidates that have progressed well into pre-clinical development.
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“Our highly productive strategic partnership with Takeda affords us the ability to advance potential new medicines with superior properties closer to the clinic, as well as enhance our Fleximer platform.”
Takeda, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Millennium Pharmaceutical, signed an agreement with Mersana.
Under the deal, Mersana will receive an upfront payment from Takeda for the right to use Fleximer technology to develop ADC candidates for indications in oncology.
Mersana is currently carrying out research and creating ADCs, which are conjugates of Takeda’s antibodies and its diverse payload platforms, which combine a cytotoxic payload with Fleximer polymer and custom linkers.
Takeda will be responsible for product development, manufacturing and commercialisation of any Fleximer-ADC products, in addition to providing antibodies.
Mersana will be eligible to receive milestone payments and royalties on net sales of any resulting ADC products worldwide.