Mersana Therapeutics, Inc. has entered into a collaboration with Millennium Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., to develop next-generation Fleximer antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) using Mersana’s conjugation technology.
Mersana will receive an upfront payment for the right to use its Fleximer technology and is eligible to receive milestones and royalties on sales of any resulting ADC products. Mersana will be responsible for conducting research and creating ADCs that are conjugates of Takeda’s antibodies and Mersana’s payload platforms, which combine a cytotoxic payload with the Fleximer polymer and custom linkers. Takeda is responsible for product development, manufacturing and commercialization of any Fleximer-ADC products.
“Collaboration is key to Takeda’s business model and is at the root of our success in leading innovation in medicine. Mersana's unique approach to ADCs allows a wide variety of antibody and payload combinations to be investigated,” said Christopher Claiborne, Ph.D., head of the Oncology Drug Discovery Unit at Takeda. “We believe that working with Mersana and investigating Fleximer-ADCs in oncology, one of Takeda’s core therapeutic areas, will strengthen our leadership and experience in developing and bringing innovative ADC therapeutics to patients worldwide.”
“Mersana has a pattern of successful collaborations with industry leaders, in which we have quickly advanced several Fleximer-ADC candidates through research and preclinical development,” said Eva M. Jack, Mersana’s chief business officer. “Mersana’s proprietary Fleximer technology offers a new and highly differentiated approach to creating ADC therapeutics, and we look forward to working with Takeda to develop novel Fleximer-ADC candidates.”