By Brady Huggett
Eos Biotechnology Inc. is linking up its monoclonal antibodies with Seattle Genetics Inc.¿s toxic payload technology to provide stronger firepower against cancer.
Seattle Genetics, of Bothell, Wash., will provide access to its proprietary classes of cell-killing drugs and its linkers, used to attach the drugs to antibodies. Privately held Eos, of South San Francisco, will use the technology to develop therapeutic antibodies linked to the toxic payloads. Eos will pay an up-front access fee, milestone payments and royalties on sales of any resulting products.
David Martin, president and CEO of Eos, said it was Seattle Genetics, as a company, as well as its technology that made the deal attractive.
¿We really like the technology, we like the people and we think they understand what they¿re doing,¿ he said. ¿They understand the business well because they are a therapeutic antibody company themselves. They also have a lot of experience in conjugation chemistry.¿
¿It¿s great,¿ said Perry Fell, CEO of Seattle Genetics. ¿[Eos is] a very exciting company. They¿re mining the human genome.¿
Martin said the multi-year deal calls for a finite number of antibodies to which Eos can attach the payloads, but added that the deal is renewable in terms of time and expandable in terms of the number of compounds, if both parties agree. Eos will choose the cancers it wants to focus on, and Martin said the area is ¿wide open.¿
Martin would not discuss the financial specifics of the collaboration, but stated the milestones and up-front fee made it a multimillion-dollar deal per product, with single-digit royalties.
Seattle Genetics¿ compounds are defined chemicals ¿ an advantage, Martin said, over other classes of toxic payloads. They are more potent than other classes of toxins being studied, such as proteinaceous toxins that come from bacteria or plants, he added, therefore they require a lesser amount be delivered. Eos not only gets access to this technology, Martin said, but future technology as well.
¿[The collaboration] includes what they have done today and what they develop in the term of the agreement,¿ Martin said. ¿It¿s a nice way to rent it, rather than buying it.¿
Both sides in the collaboration said the combination is a good fit.
¿I think it is an important means us taking technologies that others develop and perfect, and integrating them into our own product program,¿ Martin said.
Fell added that the deal makes ¿an ideal application for the drug conjugate technology that we have developed.¿
Seattle Genetics¿ stock (NASDAQ:SGEN) rose 25 cents Tuesday to close at $9.25.