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Molecular Templates to Screen Targets for ImClone

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Molecular Templates, a Georgetown, Texas-based firm that has developed a targeted biologics platform, said that it has signed an agreement to screen potential drug targets for ImClone Systems, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eli Lilly.

Under terms of the pact, Molecular Templates will identify Engineered Toxin Bodies — a new class of small biologic therapeutics derived from modified bacterial toxins — against undisclosed oncology targets of interest selected by ImClone. Molecular Templates uses its Direct Select Platform to create ETB libraries that can be screened in high throughput to identify therapeutic targets and molecules for various disease states, it said.

ImClone will conduct preclinical studies using the ETBs, evaluating their therapeutic potential in oncology. Following the evaluation period, the firms have an option to continue exclusive development of selected ETBs by ImClone, which would potentially be commercialized by Eli Lilly.

Molecular Templates will receive upfront, milestone, and royalty payments if any ETBs are selected for further development and commercialization. Financial and other terms were not disclosed.