MD Anderson and the global pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will jointly conduct research leading to new therapeutic antibodies that help the immune system fight cancer. The agreement over its full lifetime could earn MD Anderson as much as $335 million.
The agreement gives GSK exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize antibodies that activate OX40 receptors on the surface of T cells, a type of white blood cells that play a key role in the human immune system. MD Anderson researcher Yong-Jun Liu, M.D., Ph.D., now chief scientist with Baylor Research Institute in Dallas, discovered the antibodies.
MD Anderson’s Institute for Applied Cancer Science (IACS) will collaborate with GSK on this preclinical research. GSK will pay MD Anderson an upfront license fee and provide funding for the preclinical research. MD Anderson will also receive development, regulatory and commercial milestones, and be eligible for royalties from the commercial sale of products developed under the collaboration.
“This agreement is not only a tribute to the ability of MD Anderson scientists to discover new targets for cancer patients — and potential therapies against those targets — but also a testament to the vision shared by GSK and MD Anderson that successful clinical development of oncology drugs requires seamless integration of drug development expertise and deep biological knowledge,” says Giulio Draetta, M.D., Ph.D., professor in the Department of Genomic Medicine and IACS director. “The Institute for Applied Cancer Science was formed to enable precisely such integration to expedite the accurate translation of great science into drugs.”