Gilead Sciences and MacroGenics entered a licensing and collaboration pact worth up to $1.7 billion to develop a bispecific antibody to treat hematological cancers. This comes only two months after the latter announced staff cuts. The partnership includes three programs: MGD024, a bispecific antibody that binds CD123 and CD3, and two other bispecific antibodies. MGD024 is being developed for blood cancers, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).
The asset was developed using MacroGenics’ DART technology platform. MGD024 is engineered to decrease the likelihood of cytokine-release syndrome, a potentially life-threatening overreaction of the immune system. The DART platform also increases the magnitude of anticancer activity by generating a longer half-life that allows for intermittent dosing.
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