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Gilead and MacroGenics enter $1.7bn oncology partnership

Gilead Sciences (Gilead) has teamed up with MacroGenics – a biopharmaceutical company that specialises on the development and commercialisation of innovative monoclonal antibody-based therapeutics for the treatment of cancer – in a partnership focused on developing MGD024, an investigational, bispecific antibody.

The partnership will also involve two additional bispecific research programmes and details of the agreement allow Gilead the option to license MGD024, for use as a potential treatment for certain blood cancers, including acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).

The financial details include MacroGenics receiving an upfront payment of $60m from Gilead, with the biopharma also eligible to receive up to $1.7bn in target nomination, option fees and development, regulatory and commercial milestones.

Moreover, MacroGenics will qualify for tiered, double-digit royalties on global net sales of MGD024, alongside a flat royalty on worldwide net sales of products under the two research programmes.

MGD024 is a next-generation, bispecific that incorporates a CD3 component that is designed to minimise cytokine-release syndrome (CRS) – a potentially life-threatening toxicity – while increasing the magnitude of antitumour activity with a longer half-life to allow for intermittent dosing.

With a background in developing novel therapeutics, MacroGenics offers the collaboration extensive experience having produced its proprietary DART platform.

Commenting on the new partnership, Gilead’s senior vice president, oncology and clinical development, Bill Grossman said: “MacroGenics’ bispecific expertise naturally complements Gilead’s portfolio strengths in immuno-oncology and our growing haematology franchise.

“We believe MGD024, with its potential to reduce CRS and permit intermittent dosing through a longer half-life, could translate to more patient-friendly dosing and enhanced clinical outcomes for people living with AML and MDS. This partnership is the latest in our efforts to develop and advance transformative new cancer therapies as we deepen our portfolio across oncology indications.”

According to the conditions of the agreement, MacroGenics will oversee the ongoing phase 1 study for MGD024 during which Gilead may elect to exercise its option to license the programme at predefined decision points.

Sharing his thoughts on the link-up, Scott Koenig, president and chief executive officer, MacroGenics said: “Rapid advances over the last decade have made CD123 a very promising target in oncology research. Advancing our bispecific DART molecule, MGD024, through a strategic collaboration with the team at Gilead will accelerate our ability to drive further development of MGD024 to the potential benefit of people living with blood cancers.”



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