TARRYTOWN, N.Y., May 02, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:PGNX) today announced that it has granted an exclusive license to Bayer for the development and commercialization of therapeutic antibodies combining the Company’s prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) antibody technology with Bayer’s targeted thorium conjugate technology.
“While there have been recent advances in the treatment of prostate cancer, there remains a great need for therapies that can more specifically target primary and metastatic prostate cancer,” said Mark R. Baker, Chief Executive Officer of Progenics. “This license agreement with Bayer further validates the value of our PSMA antibody technology in the development of targeted cancer treatments. We are pleased that Bayer recognizes the potential of our technology.”
PSMA is a protein that has been found to be amplified on the surface of >95% of prostate cancer cells and is a validated target for the detection of primary and metastatic prostate cancer. Antibody-thorium conjugates are comprised of a radioactive alpha emitter, thorium-227, linked to an antibody, in this case PSMA. The thorium conjugates bind to the surface of tumor cells and emit alpha particles that destroy tumor cells by inducing DNA double-strand breaks, with no need for uptake into the cells for efficacy.
Per the terms of the license agreement, Progenics will receive an upfront fee and could receive additional potential clinical and regulatory development milestones. If approved, Progenics is entitled to single digit royalties and sales milestone payments.
Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is developing innovative medicines and other products for targeting and treating cancer, with a pipeline that includes several product candidates in later-stage clinical development. These products in development include therapeutic agents designed to precisely target cancer (AZEDRA®, 1095 and PSMA ADC), and PSMA-targeted imaging agents for prostate cancer (1404 and PyL) intended to enable clinicians and patients to accurately visualize and manage their disease. In addition, in late 2015 Progenics acquired EXINI Diagnostics AB, a leader in the development of advanced artificial intelligence-based imaging analysis tools and solutions for medical decision support. The acquisition of EXINI complements Progenics’ strategy to support its imaging and therapeutic agents with sophisticated analytical tools and other technologies to help physicians and patients visualize, understand, target and treat cancer. Progenics’ first commercial product, RELISTOR® (methylnaltrexone bromide) for opioid-induced constipation, is partnered with and marketed by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc.
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