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Cantuzumab Mertansine

ImmunoGen, Inc.

Drug Names(s): huC242-DM1, IDEC-160

Description: huC242-DM1 consists of the humanized C242 monoclonal antibody linked to ImmunoGen's small drug effector molecule DM1. The C242 antibody binds to the CanAg antigen present on approximately 70% of colorectal cancers, some pancreatic tumors, and a majority of non-small-cell lung tumors.

DM1 is a strong chemotherapeutic compound that has the potential to increase the potency of monoclonal antibodies. DM1 is a maytansinoid, which is a chemical derivative of a naturally occurring substance called maytansine. Maytansine is a potent inhibitor of cell division and can kill cancer cells, experimentally, at low concentrations, important properties for a good anticancer payload. Although too strong to be given to patients systemically, DM1 can be delivered to tumors by anti-cancer monoclonal antibodies.

Deal Structure: In February 1999, development and commercialization rights to cantuzumab mertansine were licensed to GlaxoSmithKline. In June 2002, GlaxoSmithKline indicated that it would not participate in phase II trials of cantuzumab mertansine under the present terms of the companies license agreement. The companies may re-negotiate the agreement, or ImmunoGen may attempt to develop huC242-DM1 on its own.

Partners: GlaxoSmithKline plc

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