MIPS 25th Anniversary Profile: Amplimmune–testing cancer therapeutic AMP-224 for enhanced immune response

Leading up to (and beyond) the Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) 25th Anniversary Gala, each weekday we will briefly profile one of the 500+ companies that have utilized MIPS funding to bring innovations to market and create jobs in Maryland. These profiles will be collected in a commemorative book, released at the celebration on November 7.

Project Manager:  Sol Langermann;  Principal InvestigatorDean Mann, UMB
Location:  Rockville, Maryland – Montgomery County;  Project Start Date: 8/1/2009

Business Description
Amplimmune is a product-driven company that is developing immune-based biologics to treat patients in the areas of cancer, autoimmunity, transplantation and infectious diseases.  In May, 2007, the company raised $20 million in a Series A financing and moved into a 16,000 square-foot R&D facility in Rockville, Md. The company has secured sufficient cash commitments to take AMP-224 through GMP manufacturing and the completion of Phase 1 clinical trials.

Challenge
Amplimmune needed to determine if its lead drug candidate, AMP-224, enhances the immune response in vivo and in vitro.

MIPS Role
Amplimmune worked with Dean Mann, professor of pathology, microbiology and immunology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore to bridge the gap between mouse model studies and human clinical trials for their lead drug candidate to see if it enhances immune responses. The methods developed in this collaboration are useful in testing the activity of AMP-224 for product release, and in determining whether patients are responding to AMP-224 treatment.

Results
In August, 2010, Amplimmune and GlaxoSmithKline entered into a partnership and global strategic collaboration on the AMP-224 program in a deal generating $23M in upfront payments and worth as much as $485M if successfully commercialized.

Amplimmune was founded by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine professors Drew Pardoll, from the department of oncology and director of the cancer immunology program, and  Lieping Chen, from the department of dermatology/oncology and the director of dermatology research. CEO Michael Richman has more than 24 years of experience in research, IP and business development capacities in companies such as Chiron Corporation (now Novartis), MedImmune (now AstraZeneca), and most recently with MacroGenics.

Download the Amplimmune spread from the upcoming book, “MIPS 25thAnniversary Commemorative Collection: Creating Partners in Innovation,” to be released at the MIPS 25th Anniversary Gala on Nov. 7.

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