At NewLink Genetics, we are discovering, developing, and working to commercialize novel immuno-oncology therapies to fundamentally change the way cancer is treated. Through strategic alliances with others who share our vision, we have the opportunity to maximize our contributions to science and the patients who need us most.
In October 2014, we entered into an exclusive worldwide license and collaboration agreement with Genentech for the development and commercialization of GDC-0919 and a research collaboration for the discovery of next-generation IDO and TDO pathway inhibitors, or the Genentech Agreement. Under the terms of the Genentech Agreement, we received an upfront non-refundable payment of $150.0 million. We may be eligible to receive in excess of $1.0 billion in milestone payments based on achievement of specific predetermined milestones as well as escalating double-digit royalties on potential commercial sales of multiple Genentech products. Genentech will fund future research, development, manufacturing and commercialization costs.
Through our partnership with Genentech, we are focused on both research and development of direct indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) and tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase (TDO) inhibitors. NewLink Genetics entered into an exclusive worldwide license agreement with Genentech in October 2014 for the development of GDC-0919,* a potent IDO inhibitor. As part of this alliance, NewLink Genetics received a $150 million advance payment, with the ability to receive additional payments, in excess of $1 billion, if certain predetermined milestones are achieved. We have also entered into a research collaboration agreement with Genentech to discover and develop next-generation IDO and TDO compounds. This collaboration has led to a significant expansion of our internal drug discovery capabilities. NewLink Genetics retains co-promotion rights for GDC-0919 and other potential next-generation IDO and TDO compounds in the United States and will receive royalties on commercial sales.
GDC-0919 (IDO) is in Phase 1b studies include combination treatment with atezolizumab (PD-L1) in solid tumors. We also plan to combine GDC-0919 with additional immune-oncology agents or cancer therapeutics to further treatment possibilities. It is our vision that through the strength of this leading oncology partnership, we will continue to expand our reach in order to improve the lives of more patients with cancer.
We are also working with Merck & Co. to develop rVSV-ZEBOV,† a vaccine to target Ebola. As part of the agreement, NewLink Genetics received an up-front payment of $30 million from Merck. In February 2015, NewLink Genetics received a $20 million milestone payment after initiating a key clinical trial in Africa. NewLink Genetics and Merck also contracted with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for an initial payment of $30 million, and in October 2015, received another $18 million to support further scale-up of manufacturing. In September 2015, NewLink Genetics also received $8.1 million, with future options up to $5.2 million, from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) to continue further research. The vaccine rVSV-ZEBOV was originally developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and licensed by a wholly owned subsidiary of NewLink Genetics.
Partner with us
By partnering with other companies, we have many more opportunities to make a difference in the lives of patients with cancer. Our doors are open to new partnerships in immuno-oncology, where we’re investing in our collective future. For new partnership inquiries, please contact us.
*Licensed by Genentech. †Licensed by Merck & Co.