This year has marked a significant transition for ImmunoGen. Two of our partners began clinical testing of products they developed with our Tumor-Activated Prodrug (TAP) technology, we gained back the rights to our product cantuzumab mertansine, and after the close of our fiscal year we established an important collaboration with a major pharmaceutical company, Aventis. ImmunoGen ended the fiscal year with $101 million in cash, and subsequently received a $12 million upfront payment from Aventis.
As a result of these and other successes described in this report, I believe the stage is set for ImmunoGen to move forward in ways not previously possible.
In the latter half of 2002, two TAP product candidates developed by our
partners advanced into clinical testing: bivatuzumab mertansine by Boehringer
Ingelheim and MLN2704 by Millennium Pharmaceuticals. These events triggered
milestone payments to ImmunoGen and will help contribute to the expanding
body of clinical data on TAP products.
In November 2002, encouraging Phase I findings with the ImmunoGen-developed
compound huN901-DM1 (BB-10901) were presented at an international cancer
conference, and in December 2002, our partner British Biotech initiated
the Phase II portion of this U.S. Phase I/II study. British Biotech also
continues to make progress with a Phase I study underway in the United
Kingdom with an accelerated dosing regimen.
In January 2003, we ended the negotiations with GlaxoSmithKline that were a result of their desire to change the terms of their license to cantuzumab mertansine. We have regained our rights to cantuzumab mertansine, and we also have rights to all the data from the completed Phase I program. We intend to re-partner cantuzumab mertansine for advancement into the next stages of clinical evaluation and commercialization.
In the past year, we have made important progress with product candidates in our research pipeline, including the TAP product candidate huMy9-6-DM1 for acute myeloid leukemia, our anti-IGF-IR antibody for various solid tumors including lung, breast, and prostate cancers, and our product candidate for certain B-cell malignancies. In July 2003, these product candidates were licensed to Aventis to expedite their development.
First, we develop our own products. ImmunoGen developed cantuzumab mertansine,
huN901-DM1, and the three compounds licensed to Aventis. ImmunoGen remains
committed to developing our own products, which we will commercialize
either by ourselves or through partners.
Second, in 2000 we began to out-license our TAP technology to other companies
so that they could develop TAP products with their antibodies. This expands
the number of TAP product candidates in development and it provides ImmunoGen
with a return from all compounds created using our technology. To date,
we have received more than $31 million not including manufacturing
payments through our agreements with Abgenix, Boehringer Ingelheim,
Genentech, and Millennium. So far, two partner-developed TAP product candidates
have advanced into clinical testing.
Third, this summer we further expanded our opportunities through the formation of a collaboration with Aventis. I believe this collaboration will enable us to develop substantially more products in less time than we could have achieved on our own. ImmunoGen will derive a return from all compounds developed using our technology and expertise. Additionally, the agreement includes significant committed research funding to ImmunoGen. We can now use our cash to further expand our product and technology opportunities.
Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer