Insight journal - Technology

Industry analysis: Cancer monoclonal antibody partnering on the rise

Posted on 07 August 2014

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Monoclonal antibodies are developed to be very selective in targeting cells. This is why they have come to be an indispensable research tool in cancer treatment being able to specifically target tumor cells.

Cancer monoclonal antibody deals have been a significant area for dealmaking among the biopharma industry in the past decade.

This article intends to spot the trends in cancer monoclonal antibody since 2009 and heals the reader identify the companies most popular in this area of dealmaking.

Cancer monoclonal antibody partnering has seen peaks and troughs in dealmaking activity since 2009.

On average 56 deals were announced since 2009 which is deemed a fairly high number for cancer monoclonal antibody dealmaking activity.

Figure 1: Cancer monoclonal antibody partnering by year - 2009-2014        









Source: Current Agreements, 2014

Unsurprisingly, the most frequent stage of development at signing of a cancer monoclonal antibody partnering deal is discovery, followed by preclinical, and then phase I, phase II and phase III, as shown in figure below.

Figure 2: Cancer monoclonal antibody partnering by stage of development - 2009-2014









Source: Current Agreements, 2014

According to the Current Agreements life science deals and alliance database, the primary oncology disease targets for monoclonal antibody partnering include lymphoma, breast, pancreatic, lung, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and solid tumors.

Figure 3: Cancer monoclonal antibody partnering by oncology therapy area - 2009-2014

























Source:Current Agreements, 2014

The primary big pharma companies participating in monoclonal antibody partnering in oncology include Pfizer (10),  GSK(12) and Amgen(13), all of whom have participated in six or more deals since 2009.

Amgen has consistently been the most active big pharma dealmaker with 13 deals since 2009, partnering with ImmunoGen, Watson, MicroMet, ManteCorp, GSK, Takeda, Oxford Genome Sciences, Illumina and Daiichi Sankyo. An example of a deal term entered by Amgen is as follows:

Amgen - ImmunoGen: Licensing agreement for TAP technology

ImmunoGen announced that Amgen has licensed the exclusive right to use the Company’s maytansinoid TAP technology to develop anticancer therapeutics to a third target, which is undisclosed.

Amgen licensed rights for two other targets in 2009 and has two compounds in clinical testing under those licenses.

The licenses were taken under a 2000 agreement.

For each license, ImmunoGen receives a $1 million upfront payment and is entitled to receive milestone payments potentially totaling $34 million plus royalties on the sales of any resulting products.

Amgen is responsible for the development, manufacturing and marketing of any products resulting from the license.

Related deals:

Collaborative R&D and licensing agreement for TAP prodrug technology for Xenomouse antigens
Licensing agreement for maytansinoid Targeted Antibody Payload (TAP) technology

A useful means of understanding best practice in cancer monoclonal antibody dealmaking is to follow the activities and deal terms used by the most active companies in a certain type of deal.

The following is a list of the most active cancer monoclonal antibody dealmakers since 2009. With only 4 big pharma companies (Amgen, GSK, Pfizer and Abbott) on the list, it is clear that medium sized biotechnology companies are the partners to watch out for in this area.

Figure 4: Most active cancer monoclonal antibody dealmakers 2009-2014











Source: Current Agreements, 2014

The following figure shows the leading cancer monoclonal antibody deals by headline value of the deal when announced between 2009 and 2014.

Figure 5: Cancer monoclonal antibody partnering by deal value - 2009-2014
























Source:Current Agreements, 2014

The  Cancer Monoclonal Antibody Partnering Terms and Agreements  report published by Current Partnering provides full details of over 300 cancer monoclonal antibody partnering deals announced since 2009 and includes average deal terms including headline, upfront, milestone and royalty rates, where available. In addition, the report provides details of deals broken down by deal type, stage of development, company A-Z and technology type. More details here


The above information has been abstracted from the following resources:

Shamini Thiagarajan


Read: more monoclonal antibody deals in pharma, biotech, life science partnering deal news, insights and glossary

View : glossary definition of monoclonal antibody

ReportCancer Monoclonal Antibody Partnering Terms and Agreements

Related reports: Monoclonal Antibodies Partnering Terms and Agreements ; Oncology Partnering Terms and Agreements

View also: Other technology type reports

View: Current Partnering Insight Partnering Scorecard – view top life science partnering deals by value

View: Current Partnering Insight Deal Metrics – the latest deal trend infographics for life science deal making

View: Current Partnering Insight Big Pharma Deal Making Scorecard – latest trends in big pharma deal making activity

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