Incyte, Agenus Partner in Immuno-Oncology
The biopharmaceutical companies Incyte Corporation and Agenus Inc. have formed a global license, development and commercialization agreement focused on novel immuno-therapeutics using Agenus' proprietary Retrocyte Display antibody discovery platform. Agenus is an immuno-oncology company developing a portfolio of checkpoint modulators (CPMs), heat shock protein peptide-based vaccines, and adjuvants. The company's proprietary discovery engine Retrocyte Display is used to generate fully human and humanized therapeutic antibody drug candidates.
The alliance will initially focus on the development of checkpoint modulator antibodies directed against GITR, OX40, LAG-3 and TIM-3. Agenus and Incyte will share all costs and profits for the GITR and OX40 antibody programs on a 50:50 basis, with Agenus eligible for potential milestones; TIM-3 and LAG-3 are royalty-bearing programs to be funded by Incyte, with Agenus eligible for potential milestones and royalties. The first clinical trials are expected to be initiated in 2016.
Under the terms of the agreements between the parties, Incyte will make upfront payments to Agenus totaling $25 million and invest $35 million by purchasing approximately 7.76 million newly issued shares of Agenus common stock at a price of $4.51 per share. In addition to the initial four target programs in the alliance, the parties have an option to jointly nominate and pursue additional targets within the framework of the multi-year collaboration. Terms also include other terms. For each royalty-bearing product, Agenus will be eligible to receive up to $155 million in future contingent development, regulatory and commercialization milestones. Also for royalty-bearing products, Agenus will be eligible to receive tiered royalties on global net sales ranging from mid-single to low-double digit rates, and has reserved the right to elect to co-fund 30% of development costs for increased royalties. For products from any additional programs that the parties elect to bring into the collaboration, Agenus may opt to designate them as profit-share products. For each profit-share product, Agenus will be eligible to receive up to $20 million in future contingent development milestones.