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MERGERS & ACQUISITIONSGilead and MacroGenics partner for bispecific antibody developmentGilead Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company committed to advancing innovative medicines to prevent and treat life-threatening diseases, has announced a collaboration with Macrogenics, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercialising innovative monoclonal antibody-based therapeutics for the treatment of cancer.Within the partnership, Gilead will pay MacroGenics an upfront payment of $60m, with MacroGenics being eligible to receive up to $1.7bn in target nomination, option fees, and development, regulatory and commercial milestones.The collaboration is an exclusive option and collaboration agreement to develop MGD024 ‒ an investigational, bispecific antibody that binds CD123 and CD3 using MacroGenics’ DART ® platform, and two additional bispecific research programmes.This will also give Gilead the option for licensing MGD024 as a possible treatment for specific blood cancers, including myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).MGD024 is a next-generation, bispecific that incorporates a CD3 component that is designed to minimise cytokine-release syndrome (CRS), a potentially life-threatening toxicity, while increasing the magnitude of antitumour activity with a longer half-life to permit intermittent dosing.Scott Koenig, MD, PhD, President and CEO, MacroGenics said, “Rapid advances over the last decade have made CD123 a very promising target in oncology research. Advancing our bispecific DART molecule, MGD024, through a strategic collaboration with the team at Gilead will accelerate our ability to drive further development of MGD024 to the potential benefit of people living with blood cancers.” “MacroGenics’ bispecific expertise naturally complements Gilead’s portfolio strengths in immuno-oncology and our growing haematology franchise. We believe MGD024, with its potential to reduce CRS and permit intermittent dosing through a longer half-life, could translate to more patient-friendly dosing and enhanced clinical outcomes for people living with AML and MDS. This partnership is the latest in our efforts to develop and advance transformative new cancer therapies as we deepen our portfolio across oncology indications,” added Bill Grossman, MD, PhD, Senior Vice President, Oncology Clinical Development, Gilead Sciences.