Amgen and TScan Therapeutics Team Up to Identify Novel Targets in Crohn’s Disease

Amgen and TScan Therapeutics, Inc. recently announced a multi-year agreement to identify the antigens recognized by T cells in patients with Crohn’s disease using TScan’s unique target identification technology, TargetScan.


Article Summary

Based on the targets identified by TScan, Amgen will consider a range of treatment approaches and will have all global commercial and development rights. Amgen also has the ability, under specific conditions, to extend the agreement to ulcerative colitis. The costs of each party’s study shall be its own responsibility. 

In accordance with the provisions of the contract, TScan will be given a $30 million advance payment and will be qualified to collect over $500 million in success-based preclinical, clinical, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments as well as tiered single-digit royalty payments. 

“Anti-inflammatory drugs have traditionally been the standard of care for patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, but often lack efficacy and durability,” said Raymond Deshaies, Ph.D., senior vice president of Global Research at Amgen. “TScan’s platform provides a best-in-class approach to identify non-conventional drug targets to enable the development of potential first-in-class therapeutics to address unmet medical needs.”

“We’re excited to apply our target discovery platform to the autoimmunity space,” said Gavin MacBeath, Ph.D., acting chief executive officer and chief scientific and operating officer at TScan. “Our TargetScan platform, which we have now extended to identify MHC class II targets of CD4+ T cells, is well-suited for the discovery of antigens targeted by the immune system in inflammatory bowel disease. We look forward to developing the value of our platform both in this partnership with Amgen and in other autoimmune diseases.”

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are two illnesses that are characterized by persistent inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract and are together referred to as “inflammatory bowel disease” (IBD).

Despite the availability of a range of treatments for IBD, not every patient achieves long-lasting remission, underscoring the need for new treatment options.

This partnership comes less than a month after AbbVie’s Rinvoq (upadacitinib) was approved by the European Commission as the first oral Janus Kinase inhibitor to treat adults with moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease.

Rinvoq was approved in the UK for Crohn’s disease earlier this year – a decision which signaled the first marketing authorisation globally for the use of the treatment in this patient population.

Prior to this collaboration, Amgen was partnered with Israeli biotech company, Entera Bio, for more than four years. Entera Bio announced that the separation from Amgen was out of mutual convenience.The two companies first inked their research collaboration and license agreement in December 2018, when Amgen put $270 million in aggregate payments on the line for Entera’s proprietary drug delivery platform.The deal also involved milestone payments and tiered royalties of up to mid-single digits for programs that Amgen might choose to move forward with.


About Amgen

Amgen is dedicated to researching, developing, producing, and delivering cutting-edge human medicines that will help patients with life-threatening illnesses to fully realize the potential of biology. This strategy starts with deciphering the complexity of disease and comprehending the basic principles of human biology utilizing technologies like cutting-edge human genetics. 

Amgen concentrates on areas with significant unmet medical needs and uses its experience to look for solutions that enhance health outcomes and significantly lengthen people’s lives. Amgen, a leader in biotechnology since 1980, has become one of the top independent biotechnology firms in the world, has impacted millions of patients globally, and is now building a pipeline of drugs with game-changing potential. 


About TScan Therapeutics Inc.

TScan is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that specializes in the creation of T cell receptor (TCR)-engineered T cell treatments (TCR-T) for the treatment of cancer patients. TSC-100 and TSC-101, the Company’s premier TCR-T therapy candidates, are being developed for the treatment of patients with hematologic malignancies to eradicate residual disease and stop recurrence after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. For the treatment of numerous solid cancers, the company is also creating multiplexed TCR-T therapy candidates. To provide personalized multiplexed TCR-T treatments for patients with a variety of solid tumors, the company built and is still developing its ImmunoBank, a library of therapeutic TCRs that recognize various targets and are linked to several HLA types.


Source: Amgen, May 9, 2023


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