Amgen, MD Anderson Partner in Two Oncology Pacts
Amgen and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have formed two multi-year collaborations to accelerate development of a variety of Amgen’s early-stage oncology therapies for treating patients with leukemia, myelodysplastic syndromes, multiple myeloma, small-cell lung cancer, and other non-lung cancers with small-cell histologies.
The agreements combine Amgen therapies nearing clinical development or those that have already begun the process with MD Anderson’s medicine capabilities.
The collaborations will focus on Amgen’s bispecific T cell engager (BiTE), chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell, and small-molecule programs. Amgen is advancing both types of T cell therapies against different targets and, in some cases, the same target. BiTE antibody constructs work by bridging T cells to tumor cells and enabling them to attack tumor cells while CAR-T cell therapies reengineer a patient’s own T cells to recognize tumor-specific antigens to create an immune system attack against cancer cells, according to information from Amgen.
The companies plan to begin the five-year collaboration with Phase I clinical studies for BiTE antibody constructs and CAR-T cell therapies for multiple myeloma and small-cell lung cancer. The second agreement spans four years and will study BiTE antibody constructs, CAR-T, and small-molecule treatments in leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes. The collaboration includes multi-institutional preclinical and clinical trials, some of which will be led by MD Anderson.