Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



This Drugmaker Stands on a Platform Above the Rest

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

It's nice to have a technology that everyone wants and can be used with different types of drugs. So-called platform drugmakers like ImmunoGen (Nasdaq: IMGN  ) can rake in the cash over and over again while developing their own drugs on the side.

Novartis (NYSE: NVS  ) was the latest to step up to the well for a drink yesterday. ImmunoGen has previously licensed its technology to Amgen (Nasdaq: AMGN  ) , Bayer, Biogen Idec (Nasdaq: BIIB  ) , Biotest, sanofi-aventis (NYSE: SNY  ) , and Roche.

ImmunoGen gets $45 million up front for licensing its Targeted Antibody Payload technology, and then for each drug developed, there's potential for about $200 million in milestone payments in addition to royalty payments if the drug makes it to market. The best part is that Novartis is responsible for all development, and when ImmunoGen does have to get involved, Novartis will repay the costs.

The TAP technology is similar to Seattle Genetics' (Nasdaq: SGEN  ) antibody-drug conjugate technology; a drug is attached to an antibody that targets the drug to the right cells.

The most obvious application is in cancer, where the chemotherapy can be specifically targeted to tumor cells. In addition to potentially making the chemotherapy work better, the targeted antibody can also lower side effects since the chemotherapy isn't racing around the body attacking everything it sees willy-nilly. Recently presented data on ImmunoGen's most advanced compound, T-DM1, which Roche is developing, seem to support this: 66% of patients taking a combination of Roche's Herceptin and Sanofi's Taxotere lost their hair, compared to just 1.5% of patients taking T-DM1.

It's pretty clear that targeted antibodies are the wave of the future. Big drugmakers are going to turn their antibody drug candidates into potent killing machines, but it'll be the technology developers like ImmunoGen and Seattle Genetics that will be raking in the dough.

Speaking of dough, Anand Chokkavelu has your best shot at a home run dividend stock.

Motley Fool Rule Breakers is always on the hunt for hot drug stocks and other cutting-edge picks. Click here to see all of our latest discoveries with a free 30-day trial subscription.

True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community.

Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. Novartis is a Motley Fool Global Gains selection. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (13)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1329635, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/28/2016 4:47:03 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 7 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,169.68 -29.65 -0.16%
S&P 500 2,133.04 -6.39 -0.30%
NASD 5,215.97 -34.29 -0.65%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/27/2016 4:00 PM
AMGN $160.57 Up +1.58 +0.99%
Amgen CAPS Rating: ****
BIIB $290.89 Down -5.57 -1.88%
Biogen CAPS Rating: *****
IMGN $1.99 Down -0.09 -4.33%
ImmunoGen CAPS Rating: ****
NVS $71.61 Up +0.48 +0.67%
Novartis CAPS Rating: ****
SGEN $49.93 Down -0.40 -0.79%
Seattle Genetics CAPS Rating: ****
SNY $37.25 Up +0.19 +0.51%
Sanofi CAPS Rating: *****