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Amgen Agrees to Deal with Bind to Develop Cancer Drugs

Amgen Inc., the world’s biggest biotechnology company, will spend as much as $180.5 million for the right to develop cancer drugs using nanotechnology from closely held Bind Biosciences.

The two companies will share preclinical development of the drugs, which will target and block enzymes associated with cancer. The medicine was developed by Amgen, based in Thousand Oaks, California. It will be delivered using technology developed by Bind, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and founded by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Robert Langer and Omid Farokhzad, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School.

The Bind technology is meant to selectively target the cancer cells, making it easier to deliver more potent doses of the drug there without poisoning healthy tissue. Once the particles locate the cancer tissue, they can release the Amgen drug. That may lead to fewer side-effects, according to Bind. Both companies will share the preclinical work, and Amgen will handle clinical development.

“Bind’s technology is well aligned with Amgen’s focus on the development of highly targeted and selective oncology therapeutics,” said Joseph P. Miletich, senior vice president of research and development at Amgen, in a statement. “We look forward to collaborating with the Bind scientific team to leverage this technology to address unmet medical needs of cancer patients.”

Bind will receive upfront and development milestone payments of $46.5 million, with an additional $134 million for regulatory and sales milestones. If the product is commercialized, Bind will receive royalties.

Amgen fell less than 1 percent to $88.15 at the close of New York trading. The shares have gained 36 percent in the 12 months.

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