SSF's Sutro Biopharma Forges $1 Billion+ And Option To Buy Pact With Celgene

Published: Oct 23, 2014

SSF's Sutro Biopharma Forges $1B Antibody Pact With Celgene

October 23, 2014

By Krystle Vermes, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

California-based Sutro Biopharma announced today that it has entered a collaboration and option agreement with Celgene Corporation to discover and develop antibodies and antibody drug conjugates. This agreement follows a collaboration dating back to 2012 between the two companies that focused on immuno-oncology.

The two companies will establish on focused targets including PD-1 and PD-L1, as well as new targets that use Sutro’s biologic department platforms. Across all product candidates, Sutro will be eligible to receive approximately $1 billion in total payments upon the achievement of clinical and regulatory milestones.

“This multi-year collaboration agreement reflects Celgene’s commitment to our highly collaborative relationship, the significant progress we have made in exploring best-in class multispecific antibodies and ADCs using Sutro’s cell-free protein synthesis platform, and the value of our early pipeline of multispecific antibodies targeting immuno-oncology pathways,” said William Newell, chief executive officer of Sutro Biopharma. “Our platform and product development efforts bear enormous promise. We look forward to continuing and expanding our productive collaboration with Celgene and to accelerating the development of our own portfolio of mono- and bi-specific ADC pipeline candidates.”

Sutro will be responsible for the early pre-clinical development of all the collaboration multispecific antibodies, as well as the manufacturing of pre-clinical product candidates. The company will also retain worldwide rights to drugs, in the event that Celgene does not exercise its option to acquire Sutro.

“Substantive progress and unique advantages of Sutro’s platform have led us to expand and extend our relationship, as a key capability supporting our emerging immuno-oncology pipeline,” said Thomas Daniel, Celgene president of global research and early development. “We see this collaboration as a unique opportunity to accelerate the evaluation and development of important products in this and other strategic areas of high potential impact. Sutro has been a strong partner expanding a potentially disruptive technology, and we look forward to building on the existing collaboration.”

Sutro will receive upfront payments totaling around $95 million, including an equity investment. It may also receive an additional $90 million during the initial research term. Celgene has the option to extend the collaboration for an additional payment.

Headquartered in San Francisco, Sutro develops best-in-class antibodies and antibody-based therapeutics for cancer therapy. Its biochemical synthesis system, Xpress CF- and Xpress CF+, enables rapid and systematic evaluation of protein structure-activity relationships.

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