Micromet Continues To Over-Deliver

In an industry where most companies over-promise and under-deliver, a company that exceeds even the most optimistic expectations is a unique phenomenon. This morning, while most eyes were still turned towards Chicago following ASCO, Micromet (MITI) managed to present another impressive set of clinical data in the picturesque town of Lugano, Switzerland. The data is from an ongoing phase I trial for the evaluation of the company’s lead product, MT103, in Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL), a trial which had already produced impressive results.

Although the actual scientific poster is not yet publically available, according to the company’s recent press release, MT103 led to an impressive clinical response among 7 heavily pre-treated NHL patients. When given MT103 at the highest dose so far in the trial, all 7 patients achieved a significant reduction in tumor burden in the form of either a complete or partial response. Importantly, those responses are durable and are currently ongoing in all seven patients, with the longest remission ongoing for more than one year.

Evidently, the data is still very preliminary, as it is being derived from a small non-controlled phase I trial. Nevertheless, having 100% clinical activity with such durability in such a late-stage patient population bodes extremely well for the prospects of MT-103. More importantly, this is yet another validation of Micromet’s revolutionary BiTE platform, which can be utilized to develop an unlimited number of drug candidates for various cancer types.

Author is long MITI

Micromet – Biting Cancer (Part II)

BiTE Antibodies 

A BiTE (Bispecific T Cell Engager) antibody is a bi-specific antibody (bsAb) which directs T-cells to attack  cancer cells, by simultaneously binding the two cells. Upon binding, a physical link is created between  the two cells, which in turn triggers the T cell to attack the target cell. Every BiTE antibody has two binding arms, the first binds the CD3 receptor present on T-cells and the second binds a specific element on a cancer cell. The T-cell binding arm provides  the activity while the cancer binding arm provides the specificity. By changing the cancer binding arm, the BiTE antibody can be adapted not only from one type of cancer to another, but also from one target to another in the same type of cancer. Therefore, BiTE represents a universal and modular platform for producing bsAbs for an unlimited number of targets.

 As previously stated, bi-specific antibodies are aimed at recruiting immune cells against cancer. Therefore, one of the first decisions to be made concerns the type of immune cells to be recruited. The first attempts to develop bi-specific antibodies, mainly included recruiting T-cells, which are considered the most potent cells of the immune system. T cells play a critical role in the body’s efforts to eliminate malfunctioning cells such as cancer or virally infected cells, making them even more obvious candidates. Continue reading