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Pfizer ‘BINDS’ to Accurins in Potential $200M+ Deal

By Marie Powers
Staff Writer

Privately held BIND Therapeutics Inc. – which disclosed its name change from BIND Biosciences Inc. on Tuesday – didn’t let the dust settle after a potential $180.5 million deal with Amgen Inc. in January. This morning, the Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech revealed that Pfizer Inc. sealed an even bigger global collaboration to develop and commercialize multiple Accurins in small molecule targeted therapies.

The Amgen agreement called for the development of a nanotechnology-based therapeutic for solid tumors, with up-front and development milestones totaling $46.5 million and $134 million in potential regulatory and sales milestones for the first therapeutic indication. (See BioWorld Today, Jan. 9, 2013.)

The Pfizer deal goes a step further, involving the exclusive option to develop and commercialize multiple Accurins selected by the pharma. The companies will collaborate on preclinical research. If Pfizer exercises its option, the pharma will assume responsibility to develop and commercialize the selected Accurins, with BIND potentially receiving up-front and development milestone payments of approximately $50 million and regulatory and sales milestones of approximately $160 million for each commercialized Accurin. BIND also would receive tiered royalties on sales.

In addition to the economics, BIND’s ability to attract a second major partner to its medicinal nanoengineering platform represents solid validation for the Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech, launched in 2006 by prolific scientists and entrepreneurs Robert Langer, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Omid Farokhzad, of Harvard Medical School.

The new partners were introduced several years ago at a J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, when the BIND principals met with “a very senior team” from Pfizer, recalled Scott Minick, BIND’s president and CEO. “They clearly understood the potential of the technology,” he said.

Some time passed, while Pfizer assessed its pipeline and reviewed “potential game changers on the horizon,” Minick added. “In the next meeting we had, nanomedicine had risen to the top of their priority list.”

The companies then began a series of discussions about where the BIND technology would have the greatest application to Pfizer and, specifically, “how we might work together,” he said.

Going forward, Pfizer will supply BIND with specific molecules, and the BIND team will develop Accurins. BIND’s Accurins incorporate a four-pronged therapeutic development approach: a programmable, controlled release polymer “backbone”; a therapeutic payload that may include small molecules, peptides, proteins and/or nucleic acids; a protective stealth layer that shields the nanoparticles from the immune system; and targeting ligands on the surface that recognize and bind to disease-associated cell surface proteins or receptors.

The technology results in higher concentrations of the active pharmaceutical ingredient at the site of disease activity while minimizing off-target exposure, leading to improved efficacy and safety.

“We see great promise in terms of the potential nanomedicines we could produce together,” Minick told BioWorld Today. “This collaboration further validates the importance of targeted nanomedicines as a strategic technology for the pharmaceutical industry.”

  See Thursday's BioWorld Today for More on This Story.