Immatics will use its target identification capabilities to find Tumor-Associated Peptide (TUMAP) candidates on the surface of cancer cells.
Amgen will then develop bi-specific antibodies which bind both the peptide candidates identified by Immatics and proteins on the surface of T cells.
Spokeswoman Nikola Wiegeler told us “Immatics is responsible for identifying the targets and specific T cell receptors against those targets. Amgen is responsible for making BiTEs and further development.”
Amgen will pay Immatics $30m (€28m) upfront and has agreed to provide an additional $500m to Immatics to fund development.
The California, US biotech will also pay royalties on any produced that are commercialized.
In 2015 Immatics set up a $60m joint venture (JV) with the University of Texas to develop adoptive cellular therapies (ACT) for cancer.
While the JV – known as Immatics US – was not directly involved in winning the Amgen deal, having a presence in the US did help Immatics showcase its capabilities according to Wiegeler.
“The discussions have started separate but the JV has seen very positive responses from various parties including Amgen so it certainly helped awareness to what Immatics is doing.”