Agenus Inc, an immuno-oncology company with an extensive pipeline of checkpoint antibodies, cell therapies, adjuvants, and vaccines designed to activate immune response to cancers and infections, today announced it has triggered the first development milestone payment under its global licensing agreement with Bristol Myers Squibb for AGEN1777, an Fc-enhanced bispecific anti-TIGIT antibody. Agenus will receive a $20 million cash payment with the dosing of the first patient.
“AGEN1777 represents Agenus’ latest innovation to activate the immune system against cancer and combat therapeutic resistance, as well as our fifth pharmaceutical collaboration to reach clinical development,” said Steven O’Day, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Agenus. “With AGEN1777’s unique mechanism of action and Bristol Myers Squibb’s immuno-oncology expertise, our goal is to efficiently evaluate AGEN1777’s benefit in difficult to treat tumors.”
This Phase 1 dose escalation study is designed to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and preliminary clinical activity of AGEN1777 as a single agent and in combination with a PD-1 inhibitor in patients with advanced solid tumors. The first patient was treated at Providence Cancer Institute by Dr. Rachel Sanborn. The trial will follow a standard dose-escalation design and will be used to establish the recommended Phase 2 dose (RP2D).
Bristol Myers Squibb intends to advance the research and development of AGEN1777 in immuno-oncology for high priority tumor indications including non-small cell lung cancer.
The global license agreement with Bristol Myers Squibb included a $200 million upfront payment paid in July 2021, and up to $1.36 billion in development, regulatory and commercial milestones in addition to tiered double-digit royalties on net product sales. Bristol Myers Squibb is solely responsible for the development and commercialization of AGEN1777 and its related products worldwide. Agenus retains options to conduct clinical studies under the development plan, to conduct combination studies with certain other Agenus pipeline assets, to co-fund global development for increased US royalties, and to co-promote AGEN1777 in the US upon
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