Roche Group’s member Genentech has collaborated with Affimed for the development and commercialization of NK cell engager-based immunotherapeutics for multiple cancer targets.
As part of the deal, Affimed will authorize its redirected optimized cell killing (ROCK) platform to discover and optimize innate immune cell engager-based immunotherapeutics of interest to Genentech.
The scope of the deal includes generation of candidate products from Affimed’s ROCK platform and multiple undisclosed solid and hematologic tumor targets.
Both firms will work together on the discovery, early research and late-stage research phases.
Genentech will take responsibility for clinical development and commercialization across the globe.
Affimed CEO Adi Hoess said: “We are incredibly excited to work with Genentech, a leader in oncology with a long history of excellence in the discovery and development of medicines to treat cancer.
“This strategic partnership marks an important step on our path to leverage the full potential of innate immune cells in oncology.”
As per terms of the deal, Affimed will secure $96m as an initial upfront payment and other near-term committed funding.
Affimed is also eligible to secure up to an additional $5bn over time, including payments based on achievement of specified development, regulatory and commercial milestones, and royalties on sales.
Subject to customary closing conditions, the deal is expected to occur in the third quarter of this year.
Roche partnering global head Dr James Sabry said: “Our partnership with Affimed provides an opportunity to enhance our existing efforts to understand how the immune system can be activated to help people living with cancer.”
Affimed’s modular ROCK platform allows to generate first-in-class, tetravalent and multi-specific immune cell engagers.
Based on its modularity, the platform supports antibody engineering of customizable NK and T cell engagers to generate clinical candidates for multiple disease indications and settings.
ROCK platform will help generate molecules against validated oncology targets to address the limitations of existing treatments of hematologic and solid tumors.
Affimed is engaged in the development of single and combination therapies for the treatment of cancers and other life-threatening diseases.