Bayer acquires rights to Micromet's BiTE antibody

Bayer Schering Pharma has exercised its option to buy the rights to an antibody for the treatment of solid tumours from US biotechnology company Micromet.

Bayer Schering Pharma has exercised its option to buy the rights to an antibody for the treatment of solid tumours from US biotechnology company Micromet.

Under the terms of the agreement signed in January 2009, Bayer had an option to licence a specific BiTE antibody against an undisclosed solid tumour target through the completion of Phase I clinical trials, at which point the German company will assume full control of further development and commercialisation of the antibody.

Taking up the option has triggered a Euro 5m to Micromet in January 2010. Micromet could receive milestone payments of up to €285m plus double-digit royalties. The company will also be reimbursed for its r&d expenses.

BiTE antibodies are designed to direct the body's cell-destroying T cells against tumour cells, and represent a new approach to cancer therapy.

"BiTE antibodies represent a promising approach to cancer therapy," said Karl Ziegelbauer, head of therapeutic research oncology at Bayer Schering Pharma. "We are looking forward to developing a new treatment for patients with solid tumours and to advance novel therapeutic options in our oncology portfolio."

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