Gilead, MacroGenics In Deal To Develop Bispecific Antibodies

Biopharmaceutical companies Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD) and MacroGenics (MGNX) announced Monday an exclusive option and collaboration agreement to develop MGD024, and two additional bispecific research programs, in oncology.

In pre-market activity on Nasdaq, MacroGenics shares were gaining around 32 percent to trade at $4.64.

Gilead will get the option to license MGD024, a potential treatment for certain blood cancers, including acute myeloid leukemia or AML and myelodysplastic syndromes or MDS.

Under the deal, Gilead will pay MacroGenics an upfront payment of $60 million. Further, MacroGenics will be eligible to receive up to $1.7 billion in target nomination, option fees, and development, regulatory and commercial milestones.

MacroGenics will also be eligible to receive tiered, double-digit royalties on worldwide net sales of MGD024 and a flat royalty on worldwide net sales of products under the two research programs.

MGD024 is an investigational, bispecific antibody that binds CD123 and CD3 using MacroGenics' DART platform. It is a next-generation, bispecific that incorporates a CD3 component that is designed to minimize cytokine-release syndrome or CRS, a potentially life-threatening toxicity.

In the deal, MacroGenics will be responsible for the ongoing Phase 1 study for MGD024 during which Gilead may elect to exercise its option to license the program at predefined decision points.

The Phase 1 study will include a dose escalation segment and an expansion segment that is intended to evaluate MGD024 as monotherapy and in combination with other therapies across multiple indications.

Gilead further said that beginning in the first quarter of 2022, it no longer excludes acquired IPR&D expenses from its adjusted measures and expects the transaction with MacroGenics to reduce its reported and adjusted earnings per share by around $0.04.

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