- Incyte Corp. is picking up MacroGenics, Inc.’s programmed cell death -1 (PD-1) inhibitor MGA012 for $150 million upfront and the potential to pay out $330 million in commercial milestones.
- Incyte will handle development and commercialization of the drug and has the right to pair MGA012 with its own pipeline assets. Incyte will pay a 15% to 24% royalty on any sales of the drug.
- MacroGenics reserves the right to manufacture a portion of the clinical supply of MGA012 at its commercial scale GMP facility, which will be fully operational in 2018.
The deal with MacroGenics is just the most recent step that Incyte has taken to flesh out its combination strategy in oncology.
The immuno-oncology drug developer has put most of its hopes into the IDO1 inhibitor epacadostat. The class has gotten a lot of attention in recent months because it could be an ideal combination with the increasingly popular PD-1/L1 inhibitors.
Incyte has been hedging its bets in that arena; earlier this year, it inked almost identical development collaborations with Merck & Co. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. to test epacadostat in combination with their respective checkpoint inhibitors.
Epacadostat is currently being tested in eight pivotal or proof-of-concept studies in a variety of different cancer types including bladder, head and neck, renal and non-small cell lung cancer.
Incyte has collaborations in place with Roche and AstraZeneca to test epacadostat in conjunction with their respective immunotherapies as well.
The checkpoint inhibitors have been a closely watched and highly touted class so far. Merck and Bristol-Myers have led the charge with Keytruda (pembrolizumab) and Opdivo (nivolumab), respectively. Several other companies including AstraZeneca, Roche and Pfizer have all brought PD-1/L1 inhibitors to market, and several other companies have drugs from this class in development as well.
Early data has shown so far that the IDO1 class has the ability to further enhance the benefits of the checkpoint inhibitors. Should epacadostat succeed with any of its respective partners, that could add to the potential for the compound and convince physicians to use the drug in combination more broadly.
By bringing another PD-1 inhibitor into its portfolio, Incyte has more control over the economics of a combination therapy and could reap higher rewards should the drugs be approved in tandem.