ImmunoGen to collaborate with Novartis on novel cancer treatment

Biotechnology company ImmunoGen Inc has struck a collaboration deal with Novartis AG potentially valued at more than $250 million to discover and develop targeted anti-cancer treatments using antibodies to several antigen targets to be named by the Swiss drugmaker.

Novartis and Immunogen will jointly develop antibody drugs to treat cancer in a new technology that will be more effective than chemotherapy.

Under the deal, Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis will pay a $45 million upfront fee to ImmunoGen for the exclusive rights to use its proprietary "targeted antibody payload" technology with antibodies to the specified number of antigen targets.

ImmunoGen is entitled to receive milestone payments potentially totaling $200.5 million plus royalties on product sales. ImmunoGen also is entitled to receive financial compensation for research and for any manufacturing done on behalf of Novartis.

Novartis will be responsible for the development, manufacturing, and marketing of any products resulting from this agreement.

ImmunoGen developed its TAP technology to achieve more effective, better tolerated anticancer drugs. A TAP compound consists of a tumor-targeting manufactured antibody with one of ImmunoGen's proprietary, highly potent cancer-killing agents attached as a payload.