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Astellas, Sutro Collaborate To Advance Novel Immunostimulatory Antibody-Drug Conjugates

Astellas Pharma Inc. and Sutro Biopharma Inc. (STRO) announced a worldwide, strategic collaboration and licensing agreement focused on the discovery and development of novel immunostimulatory antibody-drug conjugates or iADCs.

iADCs are a next-generation modality for treating cancer and designed to boost anti-cancer activity, offering potential new options for patients who do not respond to existing cancer immunotherapies.

Under the collaboration, Sutro will engage in research and preclinical studies to identify candidate compounds and then Astellas will pursue clinical development. Sutro has advanced technologies for linking drugs to antibodies and proprietary component parts, including candidate antibodies and linkable cytotoxins and immunostimulatory molecules.

As per the terms of the agreement, Sutro will receive an upfront cash payment of US$90 million to develop iADCs for three biological targets and may be eligible to receive up to US$422.5 million in development, regulatory and commercial milestones for each product candidate, and tiered royalties ranging from low double-digit to mid-teens on worldwide sales of any commercial products that may result from the collaboration, subject to Sutro's cost and profit sharing option for the United States.

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