Imugene Ltd. entered an exclusive agreement with Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute in Melbourne to research, develop and commercialize a portfolio of small molecule arginine modulators for oncology.
Researchers believe that increasing the availability of arginine, a naturally occurring amino acid critical for the activation, growth and survival of the body's own cancer-fighting cells, could help restore the tumor-killing activity of the body's own cancer-fighting cells. Depletion of arginine has been observed in renal cell carcinoma and acute myeloid leukemia patients.
Under the agreement, Imugene will pay no up-front costs for the exclusive, worldwide rights to Baker IDI's arginine modulators for drug research, development and commercialization for oncology and cancer treatment. In return, Baker IDI will receive 1.5% of net revenues generated from approved cancer therapies using the technology.
The first proof of concept studies are scheduled to begin in 2017. A new patent protecting the compounds in the field of oncology has been filed with the Australian Patent Office.