US biotech giant Amgen and Germany's Immatics Biotechnologies GmbH have announced a deal potentially worth more than $1.3 billion to develop next-generation, T-cell engaging bispecific immunotherapies targeting multiple cancers.

The firms are planning to utilise Immatics' XPRESIDENT target discovery and T-cell receptor (TCR) capabilities and Amgen's validated Bispecific T-cell Engager (BiTE) technology to create novel oncology drugs.

Bispecific antibodies have fast gained attention in the immuno-oncology field for their ability bind to two different sites either on the same or on different targets, which can improve binding specificity and efficacy in inactivating disease targets.

Under the deal, Amgen will be responsible for the clinical development, manufacturing and commercialisation worldwide of any successful candidates.

For the use of its technology and resting targets, Immatics will bank an upfront fee of $30 million and is also eligible to receive more than $1 billion in development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments as well as tiered royalties up to a double-digit percentage of net sales.

"The intersection of immunology and oncology represents a promising and rapidly developing approach that can have a significant impact for patients with cancer," said Sean Harper, executive vice president of R&D at Amgen. "We look forward to collaborating with Immatics to translate their unique target and TCR discovery capabilities combined with Amgen's validated BiTE technology into novel therapies."