The deal if focused on a molecule called 3M-052 – which has been renamed 3M MEDI9197 by licensee MedImmune – which is one of the toll like receptor (TLR) agonist that 3M retained after selling the rest of its cancer research programme to Coley Pharmaceuticals in 2007.
Under the agreement, AstraZeneca’s MedImmune division paid 3M a fee up front in return for rights to develop for cancer.
The drug delivery tech contractor will also receive research funding, developmental milestone payments and has retained the right to use the compound in certain topical applications and vaccine admixtures.
TLR agonists like MEDI9197 activate antigen presenting cells such as dendritic cells, potentially enhancing the visibility of a tumour to the immune system.
The compound has shown promise in preclinical studies according to Cindy Kent, President and General Manager, 3M Drug Delivery Systems.
“Our companies continue to work well together on this groundbreaking program and we’re very pleased with the progression of MEDI9197 into the clinic” she said, also highlighting the US FDA’s recent acceptance of the compound for review as positive news.
“The acceptance of the IND marks an important step in exploring this unique TLR 7/8 agonist intratumoral immunotherapy approach in patients with solid tumours."