~ Targeting CD38, a key biomarker in multiple myeloma and other cancers ~
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells, which are white blood cells primarily found in bone marrow that normally produce large amounts of a specific antibody. While normally functioning plasma cells are critical components of the immune system, abnormal or cancerous plasma cells cause a range of severe health issues including anemia, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, infections and serious bone and kidney disorders. About 30,770 new cases of multiple myeloma will be diagnosed in the US this year, according to the American Cancer Society, with about 12,770 deaths expected.
Austin-based Molecular Templates
Source: Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas
Takeda development agreement
Molecular Templates announced an agreement yesterday with Takeda Pharmaceutical
Takeda will make an upfront payment of $30 million, and Molecular Templates is eligible to receive development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments of up to $632.5 million if Molecular Templates exercises its co-development option or up to $337.5 million if Molecular Templates does not exercise or opts out of its option. Molecular Templates is also eligible to receive royalties on sales of the commercial product developed through the collaboration, and the companies will share equally in the development costs.
This collaboration builds on Takeda’s deep history and commitment to the study of blood cancers, including multiple myeloma. Throughout our research collaboration with Molecular Templates, we have seen the promise of its ETB platform for the discovery and development of new therapies.
– Philip Rowlands, PhD, Head, Oncology Therapeutic Area Unit, Takeda Pharmaceutical
Multiple myeloma cells widely express the CD38 protein, making it a key biomarker target in the development of therapeutics for multiple myeloma. CD38-targeted ETBs recognize the protein and deliver a modified bacterial toxin that enters the myeloma cells and destroys them through the enzymatic and irreversible destruction of ribosomes. Unlike other CD38-targeted therapies, ETBs are not reliant on the body’s own immune system for effectiveness, offering the potential of broader and deeper responses.
We have worked closely with Takeda’s scientific team since October 2016 to develop CD38-targeted ETBs with substantial improvements over our own internal program, MT-4019. Takeda’s expertise in multiple myeloma and strong antibody capabilities allowed us to develop CD38-targeted ETBs that, of the ones tested to date, are the most potent ETBs we have created with our platform.
– Eric Poma, PhD, CEO and Chief Scientific Officer, Molecular Templates.
Follow-on equity offering
Subsequent to the announcement of the Takeda deal, Molecular Templates announced a $30 million follow-on common stock offering via Cowen, Evercore and UBS, pursuant to a Form S-3 shelf registration originally filed in 2015 when the company was called Threshold Pharmaceuticals. The current Molecular Templates is a product of a reverse merger completed in August 2017.
Eric Poma, PhD, has been CEO and Chief Scientific Officer of the company since its inception in 2009. He was previously VP of Business Development at Innovive Pharmaceuticals, now part of CytRx
Source: Molecular Templates
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