Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Astellas Pharma Inc. announced today that Astellas has extended through 2023 the non-exclusive license agreement that allows Astellas to utilize Regeneron’s VelocImmune® technology in its internal research programs to discover fully human monoclonal antibody product candidates.
Astellas will pay $165 million upfront and another $130 million in June 2018 unless it terminates the agreement prior to that date. Upon commercialization of any antibody products discovered utilizing VelocImmune, Astellas will pay a mid-single-digit royalty on product sales.
In March 2007, Astellas and Regeneron entered into a six-year VelocImmune license agreement pursuant to which Astellas made license payments of $20 million per year in 2007 through 2010. This amendment supersedes the original agreement and as such, Astellas will no longer make annual license payments in 2011 and 2012. Approximately 20 monoclonal antibody projects using VelocImmune technology are ongoing at Astellas and Agensys, Inc., a U.S. affiliate of Astellas.
“VelocImmune is the centerpiece of Regeneron’s suite of technologies for the discovery and development of fully human monoclonal antibodies,” said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., President of Regeneron Research Laboratories and Regeneron’s Chief Scientific Officer. “We are pleased that Astellas, a company with a clear strategic commitment to developing therapeutic antibodies, has elected to continue to utilize the VelocImmune platform for its internal development programs.”
“We are excited about this extension of the license agreement with Regeneron,” said Shinichi Tsukamoto, Ph.D., Astellas’ Senior Vice President, Drug Discovery Research. “As described in our recently announced mid-term management plan toward FY2014, Astellas is putting the highest strategic priority on the development of antibody drugs, and VelocImmune will continue to be the indispensable technology for our antibody drug development program.”